Are You Wondering What Are The Symptoms Or Stages Associated With Alzheimer

You may know that individuals with Alzheimer’s eventually lose memory to the point of not recognizing loved ones because there have been many commercials and ads showing how this happens, but do you know the common symptoms associated with the disease?

The symptoms for Alzheimer’s, like most progressive neurological disorders lead to memory loss, but personality changes, loss of cognitive skills, and an inability to be aware of reality. It is a progressive disease so there are stages that an individual passes through and each stage has progressively worsening symptoms.

Researches and doctors describe seven basic stages that those with Alzheimer’s go through as the disease progresses. The stages may also be described as being early, middle, and late stages of Alzheimer’s or they may be described as mild, moderate and severe when being referred to.

The rate of progression is not the same for everyone as some go through the stages slowly and others seem to go through two stages rapidly.

Stage 1 is when there is an absence of impairment and the individual can still go about every day activities and can basically function as an adult regarding every day tasks.

Stage 2 is where there is minimal impairment in which there are occasional lapses of memory and some cognitive problems, but these are not detectable by family or friends. The chances are not great that even a medical examination would reveal the changes.

Stage 3 involves obvious cognitive losses that are detectable by family members and friends. The changes occur in memory, and the way the individual behaves and communicates differently. If the individual goes to the doctor at this point the diagnosis may be stage 3, early Alzheimer’s or mild Alzheimer’s disease, but there is also the chance that no diagnosis will be made at this point. The symptoms noticeable to others or that may drive a person to seek a doctor’s advice when in this stage would include having difficulty when making introductions of those whose names they should know but for some reason they fail to remember the names or they notice they are having difficulty recalling the right words to describe objects that are normally familiar. They may have noticed that they are having problems functioning at work or in social situations. They may easily forget what they have just read, or frequently misplace objects and can’t remember where they put them. If they previously were known for their ability to plan or organize things, they will notice that this skill has drastically declined to the point of being noticeable.

Stage 4 can also be referred to as the mild or early stage of Alzheimer’s because so often those in stage 3 are not diagnosed or the diagnosis is uncertain. Individuals who do not have close family or other social contacts may go unnoticed still while in this stage and the diagnosis may not be made until they reach stage 5. Although the cognitive decline is noticeable it is usually limited to being “forgetful” of recent events or personal details such as where they went, what they were doing as well as a decline in mathematical ability such as making change while shopping or dealing with finances such as balancing a checkbook. Others may notice a moodiness or social withdrawal.

Stage 5 is when the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is more apt to be made because the individual usually needs assistance with daily tasks because of the memory and cognitive decline they are experiencing. They may also be disoriented to time and place and have a decrease in ability to make judgments. It is at this stage that a decline in personal care occurs. It is obvious that the individual has Alzheimer’s at this stage but the individual can still recognize familiar family members and friends. They will still be able to do basic care tasks such as feeding, grooming and using the bathroom without assistance.

Stage 6 is often referred to as the moderate or middle to late stage of Alzheimer’s and is when it becomes increasingly more difficult for family and friends to be caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s. This is when the personality changes become obvious, memory sharply declines and a great deal of assistance is needed for doing daily activities. The individual at this stage of Alzheimer’s is not always aware of his or her surroundings and not able to know what current events are taking place. They may have difficulty recognizing familiar family or friends, even to recognize a spouse, son or daughter. They can distinguish familiar and unfamiliar faces but may not know the name to go along with the face. This is when they will exhibit repetitive behavior both verbal and nonverbal, may wander away and become lost, have bowel and bladder incontinence, become suspicious of others, become increasingly agitated or restless in the late afternoon and evening and need assistance with most of their personal or daily tasks.

Stage 7 is the late or severe stage of Alzheimer’s disease. This individual at this point rarely responds to anything in the environment, communication is extremely limited, basic functions shut down including motor coordination and the ability to swallow. The individual requires round the clock, constant care.

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