Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia in which a patient suffers due to problems with memory thinking and behavior. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s start developing gradually and worsen over a period of time. The symptoms become server enough that the patient is not able to perform his daily tasks by himself.
Dementia is a General term used to describe memory loss and cognitive abilities of the brain that deteriorate the quality of life.
Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia.
Alzheimer’s generally happens to people who are above 65 years of age. It is a progressive disease but worsens with time. Symptoms start with mild memory loss leading to a stage where the patient is not able to recall events and eventually even forgets their own name and that of their loved ones.
Later stages are marked by an increasing inability to perform daily life routines. The patient eventually loses his ability to work and even swallow food.
Alzheimer’s can be diagnosed only after a complete medical assessment and evaluation by a physician.
In most cases, the physician will go through the complete medical history, check the mental status and do mood testing. This is followed by a physical and neurological examination.
Physicians may also conduct blood tests and brain imaging tests.
Stages of Alzheimer’s:
Alzheimer’s is generally categorized into three stages.
The initial stage is called mild Alzheimer’s disease. In this stage, the person is capable of performing all the daily routine activities but Encounters memory lapses like forgetting the names of objects or people.
The second stage is called moderate Alzheimer’s disease. This is also the longest stage of Alzheimer and last for many years. In this stage, the person confuses with words, gets frustrated and angry and acts in unpredictable ways.
The final stage of the disease is called severe Alzheimer’s disease. This stage is characterized by loss of ability to respond to the environment, being unable to take part in a conversation and finally leads to loss of control of movement.
In this stage, the person occasionally mumbles a word or phrase that cannot be counted as conversation. Such people need extensive help with their daily activities. Persons in the later stages of Alzheimer’s are vulnerable to infections, especially pneumonia.
At present, there is no treatment for Alzheimer’s. The medication available is only helpful to control cognitive and behavioral symptoms.