Alzheimer’s Disease: Symptoms, Stages & Risks Factors
Have you read the book ‘The Notebook’ by Nicholas Sparks or watched the movie based on the novel? Ah! That’s one book that makes me so happy and so sad at the same time. The female character, Allie Hamilton has Alzheimer’s disease and the entire plot revolves around that.
If you haven’t read the book, do it now or at least watch the movie. Did you know more than 6 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease? And 72 % of them are beyond the age of 65. Imagine losing all the memories you made all these years to just forget them.
That’s painful right? The book “the notebook” is based on true events. Both the sufferers of Alzheimer’s disease and their families are heavily impacted by this illness.
Let’s look at it in detail…
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological condition which destroys your memory. If you wonder why it does that, it’s because this condition makes your brain shrink and your brain cells also begin to die.
Did you know our brain can make any new brain cells even if the cells begin to die. This is one of the reasons Alzheimers’s disease is considered an ongoing condition. Alzhemer’s is also responsible for many people developing dementia.
The one diagnosed with dementia will experience decline in thinking or remembering information, social skills and even begin to behave in a strange way. All this is because they are so perplexed about every thing as there is no strong memory of most things available.
Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia but progressive. Alzheimer’s is mostly diagnosed in people around the age of 60-65. But that doesn’t mean people with less age can’t have the disease. It is known as early onset of Alzheimer’s if diagnosed earlier in life.
What are the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease?
- Memory loss
- Inefficiency in completing daily tasks
- Struggle with using technology which once they excelled at
- Problem solving issues
- The language is affected (oral and written)
- Faulty judgement
- Decline in self care and personal hygiene
- Mood fluctuations
- Personality changes take place
- Social alienation
Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease
Stage 1. No symptoms at this stage. It is diagnosed on the basis of a family member having Alzheimer’s disease.
Stage 2. Early symptoms like forgetfulness.
Stage 3. Reduced memory and decline in concentration
Stage 4. Memory loss, not able to do daily tasks. This is the diagnosable stage of Alzheimer’s disease.
Stage 5. Symptoms increase in severity. At this stage the sufferers begin to require help from friends and family members.
Stage 6. This stage the ability to complete basic tasks also reduces. They need help with things like eating their food.
Stage 7. This is the last and most severe stage. They stop speaking and there is loss of facial expressions too.
What are the causes and who is at most risk of having Alzheimer’s?
There is no said cause of Alzheimer’s disease. It is developed mostly because of an extreme build up of protein in and around the brain cell which is believed to be because of other internal or external factors like:
1. Age: in most cases people developed Alzheimer’s in their 60s and that’s why excerpts like to believe that in some people age can be a risk factor.
2. Genetics: Alzheimer’s can travel from one generation to another. So if you have had some in your family who suffered from Alzheimer’s you might be at a higher risk of developing the condition.
3. Head trauma (physical): if you have suffered a head/brain injury or underwent a surgery of the brain then you might be at risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
4. Down syndrome: People with down syndrome suffer from amyloid plaque over time, which is the reason behind the shrinking of the brain and developing Alzheimer’s disease.
5. Untreated depression: Untreated depression can be a cause as well as the symptom of Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive neurological condition that can be managed with medications but we still haven’t found and cure. The best we can do for an Alzheimer’s disease patient is trying to ease their symptoms.
If you know someone who is dealing with Alzheimer’s disease make sure they get the best treatment via medicines. Give them all the love and support and make them feel comfortable, life is already too complicated for them.
I hope you found this blog helpful. Do let us know in the comment section if you want to know more about Alzheimer’s disease. For more information, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on social media.
Thanks for reading.
Take care and stay safe!