Alzheimer's and how the disease progresses
A lot of older people forget someone’s name or misplace things from time to time. This kind of forgetfulness is normal. But, signs of a more serious problem are things such as forgetting how to get home or getting confused in places a person knows well or asking questions over and over. These are initial signs of Alzheimer's. Janet Rich Pittman and I are talking about an article on Alzheimer's and how the disease progresses.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. The disease progresses slowly and gradually and worsens over time. Eventually, it will affect most areas of your brain. Memory, thinking, judgment, language, problem-solving, personality and movement can all be affected by the disease.
Types of Dementia
Dementia is when a vast amount of brain cells die in a certain section of your brain and this causes your brain to misfunction. To clarify Alzheimer's is a disease and a type of dementia. Every Alzheimer's is different. Therefore, no two types of Alzheimer's are exactly the same.
There are a number of types of dementia, and Alzheimer's is one of them. Majority of the dementias in our world is Alzheimer's, about 87%. Other dementias that people are familiar with are vascular dementia (stroke). Also, there's Lewy Body, Parkinson's, Pick's, Creutzfeldt-Jakob, Huntington's, Multiple Sclerosis, Lou-Gehrig disease, and HIV Aids.
How Alzheimer's Disease Progresses
Although every person with Alzheimer's disease progresses differently, it is possible to divide its typical progression into a series of stages. The beginning, the middle and the end.
However, it is essential to make sure that a person with dementia has a good quality of life with the condition and that their needs are met, rather than focusing on what stage they might have reached.
Mild is the beginning stages and it lasts a few years. Alzheimer's disease is often diagnosed at this stage. Dementia/Alzheimer's is officially diagnosed when you have 2 or more cognitive impairments in your brain.
Cognitive impairments are those are your ability to focus and pay attention, reasoning and judgment, senses, and visual perception. The very first one that goes is brain endurance, which is your brain energy. The second cognitive thing that you lose is your gait. Other symptoms include having less energy and drive to do things, trouble with driving, language problems, loss of recent memories, and mild coordination problems. Also, depression is a precursor and that is why you gotta beat that depression.
During this stage of Alzheimer's disease, people grow more confused and forgetful and begin to need more help with daily activities and self-care. And it can last 2 – 10 years. Symptoms include rambling speech, trouble coming up with the right words, using the wrong words, and hard time planning and solving problems. Getting angry or upset easily, and sometimes lashing out at family or caregivers. Sleeping is also another problem at this stage.
Another symptom of moderate Alzheimer is that your senses dilapidate. You're not able to smell very well. In addition, your ability to taste especially salt and sugar is weakened. That is why It makes you wanna eat more and more.
In the late stage of the disease, the mental function continues to decline, and the disease has a growing impact on movement and physical capabilities. It lasts 1 – 10 years.
Now you have a major confusion of what's in the past and what's happening now. And that's the beginning of the end. It goes further to the fact where they quit talking. They may know your face but not know your name. Many people at this stage are physically impaired that is why caregivers are important.
Getting Proper Sleep Helps Lessen How the Disease Progresses
Getting sleep during the day messes up with the circadian rhythm. It is the rhythm that your body has. Set a limit on your naps and try to do all your naps on your 8 hour sleeping time. But you can have a nap in the afternoon just make sure it's not 4 or 5-hour nap. Maybe maximum of 30-40 minutes. Just don't let it mess up your evening 8 hour sleeping time.
In conclusion, caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease is a great task. Because Alzheimer's disease progresses in different varieties. See your doctor if you are worried about your memory or think you might have Alzheimer’s disease. It’s important to find out what is causing your memory problems.
About Our Co-Host
Our guest host is an expert on memory. She was on the show before, and you can hear more about her credentials on episode 146. Janet Rich Pittman is on a mission to help people fight the effects of aging by powering up their brains. As a Licensed Dementia Administrator and Certified Dementia Practitioner, she has seen firsthand what dementia can do to its victims and their families—and her years of research have taught her that it’s possible to prevent dementia, even REVERSE IT and reclaim your brain.
You can also visit her website at https://janetrichpittman.com
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