Published on: April 2, 2012
by Dementia Treatment
Changes in the brain of Alzheimer’s sufferers may begin 10 to 20 years before any visible signs of dementia or any symptoms of Alzheimer’s appear.
Alzheimer’s disease progresses through three main stages:
The first stage is mild. The symptoms at this stage can be observed by family members and considered as part of normal aging. The family member starts to forget places or things. Sometimes, the family member forgets their address. At this stage, it seem a little matter of “mom or dad , they’re just getting older”.
However by the time the second stage appears, family members began to sense that there may be something serious happening. As the memory continues to deteriorate, there is a sense that there is a more severe problem.
During the second stage of Alzheimer’s disease there is evidence that the damage to the brain has progressed. At this stage there are some language problems. Family members fear that the patient has had a stroke. The ability to speak is slow and labored. There is a strain to articulate feelings or request. There may be an inability speak clearly.
During the second stage of Alzheimer’s the person’s reasoning ability is hampered. The person may decide to go to the grocery store at 2:00 am in the morning. The person will not understand why this does not make sense. Some individuals become combative or emotional over perceived injustices.
The processing of sensory information such as reacting to heat or cold becomes impaired during the second stage of the disease. The brain is not connecting or interpreting sensory messages from the body. Alzheimer’s patients have been known to not feel the heat from a stove or not react to cold.
As the disease progresses, family members can see that other regions of the brain have been affected. There are pronounced changes in behavior and there is a pronounced attention deficit.
The progression of Alzheimer’s disease can vary. The individuals who have been studied shows that the duration of the disease may vary from 3 to 20 years. Early detection is critical to controlling and slowing the progression of the symptoms. Finding the right Alzheimer’s treatment plan is important at this stage. The disease can be slowed at this stage.
There are medications approved by the FDA to treat Alzheimer’s disease. There is no cure. However, some medications have been tested that delay the progression and possibly the onset of new Alzheimer’s symptoms, Many of the drugs that are prescribed for Alzheimer patients are designed to help with the emotional or the behavioral changes that occur.
When the individuals starts to experience any of the symptoms associated with the various stages of Alzheimer’s, they should seek medical help immediately.
Don’t confuse the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease with the changes that take place in normal aging. Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging.
Some studies indicate that some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s may be due to other conditions that impact the diagnosis. Depression, some of the side effects of other medications, excessive use of drugs or alcohol or even nutritional imbalances may be disorders that can impair memory and other functions.
If these problems are identified early on, individuals can sometimes stave off the progression of the disease by being reactive to the symptoms early.
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