Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological disorder that affects the brain, causing the death of brain cells. Alzheimer’s is one of the most common causes of dementia that can severely interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease affects approximately 5 million people in the U.S. and is more common in older adults. Probably, the number of affected people will practically triple by 2060.
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s are mild at first but become more severe over time. Some common symptoms include memory loss, language problems, and a decline in a person’s thinking and understanding abilities. However, as the symptoms get worse, it becomes difficult for people to remember recent events, respond to their environment, or recognize the people they know. Ultimately, a person with Alzheimer’s disease may need full-time support and assistance to function properly in life.
In this article, we will enlighten the causes, symptoms, and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s occurs when the brain cells start to lose connection with each other and eventually die. These changes in the brain arise due to the formation of abnormal proteins that form plaques and tangles around the brain cells. The causes of Alzheimer’s include a combination of age-related changes in the brain and genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s vary from person to person and can worsen with time as it is a progressive condition. Some of the symptoms include:
- Memory loss problems that disturb daily life, including difficulty remembering information, repeating questions, forgetting about events, or getting lost
- Difficulty with complex tasks, including trouble handling money or paying bills or difficulty making decisions
- Problems with speaking, reading, or writing
- Inability to recognize faces or objects
- Decreased or poor judgment.
- Misplacing things or being unable to find them
- Changes in mood, personality, or behavior that leads to becoming angry, upset, obsessive, or worried
Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease progresses in different stages ranging from mild to severe. It starts with mild to moderate impairment and may reach a severe cognitive decline. Here are some of the symptoms of each category:
Signs of Mild Alzheimer’s
People with mild Alzheimer’s seem to be healthy but can experience several memory problems and cognitive difficulties that include:
- Poor judgment
- Difficulty completing everyday tasks
- Repeating conversations and questions
- Getting upset, angry, or irritated easily
- Misplacing things more than usual
- Getting lost
Signs of Moderate Alzheimer’s
In the moderate stage, the parts of the brain responsible for language, senses, perception, and consciousness are impaired that makes extra care and supervision necessary. Some of the symptoms of moderate Alzheimer’s include:
- Difficulty remembering new information
- Problem with reading, writing, and speaking
- Inability to think logically
- Difficulty in coping with new situations
- Inability to conduct daily tasks like getting dressed
- Problems in identifying faces of family or friends
- Hallucinations or paranoia
- Impulsive behavior like using inappropriate language
- Increased restlessness, anxiety, or wandering around
Signs of Severe Alzheimer’s
In this stage, the brain cells shrink entirely, making it difficult to communicate. People with severe Alzheimer’s are completely dependent on others and require special care. Some of the symptoms include:
- Weight loss
- Inability to communicate
- Inability to leave the bed
- Increased risk of skin infections and seizures
- Difficulty swallowing
There is no identified cure for Alzheimer’s disease. However, medication and treatment options can help relieve the symptoms. You may reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s by taking a few preventative measures, including exercising, controlling high blood pressure, performing cognitive training, or eating a well-balanced diet.
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