Alzheimer’s disease – A battle to keep memories alive!

Alzheimer’s diseaseAlzheimer’s disease is a serious brain disorder that greatly impacts daily living through memory loss and cognitive changes. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disorder. That means it gradually worsen over time, progressing from mild forgetfulness to widespread brain impairment. Due to some chemical and structural changes in the brain slowly impair the ability to create, remember, learn, reason, and relate to others.

There are many factors that contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease such as age, family history, genetics, depression, emotional trauma, and alcohol and drug abuse. Just because you forget a thing that does not mean you’ve Alzheimer’s disease. For example, forgetting car keys or wallet can be considered as normal but if you frequently forget recent conversations you just had some time before may be a concern.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disorder and hence, each individual with this disorder progresses differently. Hence, you need to understand the stages of Alzheimer’s disease to provide your loved one’s timely treatment.

Stage 1 – Mild or early signs of Alzheimer’s disease
Frequent recent memory loss, repeated questions, difficulty expressing and understanding language. Depression and apathy may occur along with mood swings. They may need reminders for daily activities.

Stage 2 – Moderate stage of Alzheimer’s disease
In this stage, they may have pervasive and persistent memory loss including forgetfulness about personal history and inability to recognize friends and family.  They may have long-winded speech, confusion about current events, time and place and are more likely to become lost in familiar settings. They can experience delusions, aggression, and uninhibited behavior. Mobility and coordination are affected by slowness, rigidity, and tremors.

Stage 3 – Severe symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
They can get confused about past and present. Loss of ability to remember, communicate, or process information. They will have problems with swallowing, incontinence, and illness and extreme problems with mood, behavior, hallucinations and delirium.

Coping with Alzheimer’s disease becomes a long-lasting battle for the person and his or her family members since the disease does not have a permanent cure yet. The earlier the symptoms are recognized, the better you can take care of them. The disease cannot be prevented but with the help of medications, therapies, regular health checkups, and support and love from family and friends can at least improve the quality of his or her life. Other lifestyle changes can also be helpful.

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