Alzheimer’s Disease Symptoms
Alzheimer’s disease symptoms vary from person to person. Symptoms can go unnoticed for months. The symptoms usually develop slowly and progress over time. The initial damage spreads to a region in the brain called the hippocampus, which is key to retaining our memories. As more neurons die, damaged regions begin to shrink. By the final stage of Alzheimer’s disease, the patient’s brain is much smaller than normal.
Alzheimer’s Disease Symptoms include:
- Memory loss;
- Challenges in planning or solving problems;
- Difficulty performing familiar tasks;
- Forgetting phrases/words;
- Disorientation – confusion about time and place;
- Misplacing things;
- Withdrawal from work or social activities;
- Poor or decreased judgment;
- Changes in mood or behavior; and
- changes in personality.
Researchers have more questions than answers, but we know that neurotoxins, head trauma and genetics can all trigger brain disease. Unfortunately, that’s where our knowledge gets fuzzy. In fact, most diagnoses are a process of elimination. After eliminating all other possibilities, the guesswork begins:
- If the patient has a memory disorder, it’s Alzheimer’s disease.
- If they have a movement disorder, it’s Parkinson’s disease.
- If the patient shows both symptoms, flip a coin.
- If they ever had a concussion, it’s possibly CTE.
- If the person is incapacitated, it’s Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD).
Experts claim that at least 25 percent of Alzheimer’s diagnoses are not Alzheimer’s. The bad news is that these misdiagnoses are actually further up the prion spectrum where they are extremely infectious to caregivers and loved ones. Millions of cases of deadly CJD are being misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease. Millions of patients and caregivers are being misinformed, misguided and exposed to an aggressive disease. Misdiagnosis and misinformation regarding prion disease is a matter of life and death.
Alzheimer’s disease and its symptoms progress through three main stages, including mild, moderate and severe. In mild Alzheimer’s disease, there may be slight lapses of memory and altered mood. As the disease progresses, more obvious problems may develop, including not recognizing people or places, they may become confused or agitated, and may wander aimlessly and even get lost. The person may eventually start to develop physical symptoms, such as losing bladder or bowel control. Eventually those with Alzheimer’s disease may become incapable of caring for themselves.
Early Symptoms Of Alzheimer’s Disease
Memory problems are typically one of the first warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Some people with memory problems have a condition called amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI). People with this condition have more memory problems than normal for their age, but their symptoms are not as severe as those seen with Alzheimer’s disease. By contrast, people with MCI are not significantly impaired. A decline in other aspects of cognition, vocabulary, vision/spatial issues, and impaired reasoning or judgment, may also signal the very early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Mild Alzheimer’s Disease. As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, memory loss worsens and declines in other cognitive abilities become evident. Problems can include getting lost, trouble handling money and paying bills, repeating questions, taking longer to complete normal daily tasks, using poor judgment, and having some mood and personality changes. People often are diagnosed during this stage of the disease, which is the first step to getting much-needed help.
Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease. In this stage, damage occurs in areas of the brain that control language, reasoning, sensory processing, and conscious thought. Memory loss and confusion worsen and people begin to have problems recognizing family and friends. Victims may be unable to learn new things, carry out tasks that involve multiple steps, or cope with new situations. They may have hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. They often behave impulsively.
Severe Alzheimer’s Disease. By the final stage of Alzheimer’s disease, brain tissue has shrunk significantly. People cannot communicate and are completely dependent on others for their care. Near the end, the person may be in bed all of the time as the body shuts down completely.
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- Keep caregivers safe. Misinformation and misdiagnoses are putting them at risk.
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