Symptoms,Signs And Stages Of Alzheimer's Disease
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What is Alzheimer's disease?
This disease generally occurs in people above sixty years of age but sometimes strikes younger people too.Though the body remains healthy the brain cells die in large numbers affecting the production of certain brain chemicals which help our memory and thought processes resulting in brain atrophy and the gradual disappearance of "self".This disease is interlinked to the appearance of protein plaques in the brain of the patients.In severe cases people totally forget about themselves and wander off aimlessly and get lost.This disease was first noted by a German doctor named Alzheimer hence the name Alzheimer's disease.
What are causes of Alzheimer's disease?
The causes of this disease is unknown but the chances of it striking are more if it is in the family.
What are Alzheimer's symptoms ?
1.Loss of memory of recent happenings and as it progresses loss of memory increases.
2.Irritability and depression.
3.Decrease of muscle coordination.
4.Unable to take care of self and neglects self grooming.
5.Mood swings and unusual behavior.
6.In some extreme cases loss of speech occurs.
7.Gradual loss of bodily functions leading to death.
What are Alzheimer's stages ?
There are three Alzheimer's stages .
The initial stage begins with loss of memory which may be mistaken in elderly people as the result of normal aging process.Speech difficulties begin to manifest due to shrinking vocabulary.Movements become clumsy due to coordination problems between limbs.
The second stage is characterized by progressive deterioration of brain functions and inability to perform even the normal day to day functions.There is change of behavior accompanied by outbursts,mood swings,insomnia,delusions and sometimes even aggression towards care givers.
In the last stage the patient depends fully on the care giver unable to perform even the basic chores and is bedridden.Speech is almost nonexistent and in due course the patient dies due to secondary infections and causes.
What are the treatment given to Alzheimer's patients?
This disease is incurable as of now and only supportive care can be given.The life expectancy after early diagnosis is only eight years but there are some medications and therapies to delay the degeneration.
1.Counseling is given to the Alzheimer's patients to help them come to terms with their condition so that they become manageable and do not strain the care givers.
2.Physical training gives them the ability to take care of themselves so that they are clean and groomed.
3.Speech therapy is given to improve their communication skills.
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