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Discover the Answers: What is Alzheimer’s?
The most widespread cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s Disease. The condition causes deterioration of brain cells. When these brain cells die, it affects a person’s memory, cognitive abilities, and behavior. As the disease progresses, the patient’s quality of life will be impacted, as it interferes with everyday activities.
Causes, Symptoms, Treatments of Alzheimer’s Disease
The cause of this neurological disease is not exactly known, although there are several factors which may place a person at risk. Age-related changes within the brain may be a contributing factor, and genetics play a key role as well. Some experts also believe that long-term use of certain anti-anxiety medications may increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
A major symptom of Alzheimer’s Disease includes significant loss of memory, which affects daily life. The individual may also find planning or problem-solving tasks have become a challenge. The person may experience difficulty concentrating, misplace things, or become confused over the time of day. He or she may also experience mood swings or withdraw from social activities.
What Are the Seven Stages of Alzheimer’s?
There are seven stages of Alzheimer’s, each with its own characteristics. Supporting a loved one who has been diagnosed with the disease is important, therefore it helps to be aware of how the condition progresses.
Stage 1 – No Noticeable Changes in Behavior or Memory: At the onset of the disease, the individual typically will not exhibit outward changes. Diagnosis at this stage can only be determined by a brain scan.
Stage 2 – Subtle Changes: There may be a few recognizable symptoms beginning to emerge during the second stage. Becoming somewhat forgetful or misplacing objects is common.
Stage 3 – Mild Decline in Cognitive Behavior: Problem solving may become more of a challenge. Episodes of forgetfulness become more frequent.
Stage 4 – Moderate Decline: The above symptoms become more frequent and apparent.
Stage 5 – Moderately Severe Decline: Confusion, inability to concentrate, reason, or dress oneself often occurs.
Stage 6 – Severe Decline: Disorientation in one’s environment or wandering mindlessly may occur. The individual may also fail to recognize loved ones and friends.
Stage 7 – Extreme Decline: This is the final stage of the disease when death is imminent. The individual loses control of bodily function (including function of the bowel and bladder, as well as the ability to swallow).