Alzheimers symptoms are often characterized by memory loss. In the beginning, one may notice that they are mildly confused and are starting to forget things more often. However overtime, the symptoms worsen as the disease progresses. It may even progress to the point where one cannot speak.
This disease is a permanent and progressive disease of the brain. It is the most prominent cause of dementia. It gradually worsens one’s memory, ability to think properly, and eventually makes it impossible for people with the disease to do tasks necessary in their day to day lives.
It is not clear what causes this degenerative disease, but scientists believe that it involves genetics, one’s environment, and the lifestyles of individuals. Typically, this disease affects the elderly.
Very early signs include minor memory problems. This is known as mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Those with MCI have memory loss that is worse than expected for their age, but they don’t have the personality changes and other problems associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Not all people with mild cognitive impairment develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease develops as it spreads throughout the brain, affecting the cerebral cortex. Alzheimers symptoms at this stage can include continued memory loss, requiring a longer time to complete day to day tasks, getting lost or confused about their own whereabouts, poor judgement, troubles with handling finances, personality changes (such as increased anxiety or increased aggression). At this point, the individual appears to still be relatively healthy but may give the impression to have difficulties with their cognitive thoughts.
Those with moderate Alzheimer’s disease have symptoms such as a shorter attention span, more memory loss and confusion, outbursts and anger, trouble recognizing family members and friends, difficulty speaking, reading, and writing, difficulty thinking logically, muscle spasms or repetitive movements or statements, restlessness, agitation, and anxiety. They may also have difficulties learning new things or dealing with new and unexpected situations, unable to carry out day to day activities that involve multiple steps (such as making coffee or dressing oneself).
Those with severe Alzheimers symptoms cannot communicate with others or recognize people. They are unable to take care of themselves at this point and will need to depend on others for their wellbeing. At this point, they may be mostly in bed. Other symptoms can include difficulties swallowing (dysphagia), weight loss, seizures, lack of control of the bladder and bowel region, and they may be sleeping more.
Recognizing Alzheimers Symptoms and Alzheimers Prevention