30+ alarming Alzheimer’s symptoms
30+ alarming Alzheimer’s symptoms
Researchers and scientists continue to find novel ways to help us understand the complex changes happening in the brain of a person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. These brain changes and damage occur over a long time due to the build-up of various toxins. Some scientists have concluded that the disease progression starts at least a decade earlier before any symptoms appear. During this period, the toxins keep building up within the brain, but the affected person will not exhibit any Alzheimer’s symptoms.
In most cases, the signs and symptoms begin to show up as soon as the brain damage occurs. This type of Alzheimer’s disease is categorized as an early onset variety, with the earliest sign identified between 30 and 60. However, some cases with a late onset of the illness experience their symptoms showing up after 60.
The first sign or symptom to appear in Alzheimer’s disease varies in most cases. Some might experience memory-related cognitive impairments at first. In contrast, the first Alzheimer’s symptoms could be declining non-memory cognitive functions like impaired reasoning, clouded judgment, or vision difficulties. Alzheimer’s disease progression is also varied in different patients. The disease itself is divided into three categories; mild (early-stage), moderate, and severe (late-stage) Alzheimer’s disease.
Symptoms of mild Alzheimer’s disease
In the early stage of Alzheimer’s, the affected may seem completely healthy, with no apparent symptoms. However, they experience declining brain functions, like having trouble remembering information or experiencing difficulty recalling words. With time, the problems intensify that are often noticed by the affected themselves and their family members. The signs and symptoms presented in this category are as follows:
- Poor judgments, leading to wrong decisions.
- Difficulty in staying on track.
- Very poor in quick decision making.
- Taking a lot of time following the same everyday work routine.
- The patient cannot stay focused.
- Repeating the same questions.
- Problems with paying bills or having trouble handling money-related tasks.
- Easy to wander more often or cannot remember the routes.
- Quickly lose belongings or place them in odd places and forget them.
- Memory loss is one of the most significant Alzheimer’s symptoms that confirm the presence of the disease.
- Mood swings become noticed by family members.
- Apparent changes in behavior and personality.
- High levels of anxiety, depression, and aggressiveness.
Please keep in mind that these symptoms may vary in severity from person to person. Moreover, one or two visible symptoms at the start of the disease may increase in number over time.
Symptoms of moderate Alzheimer’s disease
The symptoms are far more severe when compared to the early stage. Furthermore, there will be a constant need for an attendant or a close family member to accompany the patient at all times. Here are the reported symptoms of moderate Alzheimer’s disease:
- Increased memory loss. As mentioned earlier, it is one of the most evident Alzheimer’s symptoms, which can be seen at every stage of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Failing to learn any new information or perform a relatively novel task.
- Problems with speech become worse. Over time, the ability to read, write or even speak declines. Calculations are impossible to compute, and the affected find it hard to work with numbers.
- Cannot curate a thought process; logical thinking becomes a difficult task to execute.
- Failing to keep attention. The attention span becomes very short.
- The person becomes clueless when encounters a new situation.
- Having difficulty following a step-wise task. Even a simple task like dressing up or cooking.
- Due to severe memory loss, the affected patient might have difficulty remembering their relationships. They might not recognize a close family member or a friend.
- The deteriorating brain functions eventually result in the patient experiencing hallucinations, delusions, or a feeling of paranoia without reason.
- Unpredictable or impulsive behaviors become routine. For instance, the patient might use vulgar language in conversations or do inappropriate things like undressing in public.
- In the list of Alzheimer’s symptoms, this symptom of moderate Alzheimer’s disease might be a bit unique. There are instances when the patient exhibits unnecessary outbursts of anger. Most of the time, this symptom is noticed by a close friend or a family member.
- Anxiety is accompanied by restlessness that increases in intensity, especially during the evening or late afternoon.
- Frequent muscle twitching and repetitive movements.
Symptoms of severe Alzheimer’s disease
Almost all of the patients at this stage of Alzheimer’s disease experience a massive decline in their cognitive functions. The ability to communicate diminishes entirely, and the affected people require constant companionship for care. All the Alzheimer’s symptoms at this stage are severe, and the patient stays in bed, requiring ongoing care. Below are the symptoms of severe Alzheimer’s disease.
- Rapid weight loss with progressing weakness.
- Seizures occur quite often at this stage.
- As the patient stays in to be all the time, bedsores develop, exposing the skin to various infectious organisms and eventually resulting in skin infections.
- The patients lose their ability to swallow food. The natural muscle movements that help in eating diminish. Such Alzheimer’s symptoms require constant management by a qualified nurse.
- Moaning and grunting become excessive.
- No control over bowels or the bladder.
At this severe Alzheimer’s stage, it is of utmost importance to provide extra patient care as each symptom presents itself at its worst stage. In people affected with severe Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of death is aspiration pneumonia, where the food cannot be adequately swallowed and ends up in the lungs.
There is no cure for the disease; the only treatment is given according to the symptoms. Fortunately, there are promising therapies for the treatment of Alzheimer’s well underway. Alzheimer’s symptoms vary at different stages, and it is always essential to go for bi-annual health checkups to keep a tab on your health.
For additional information, follow us on eHealth Magazine: Linkedin.
If you liked this article on Alzheimer’s symptoms, you may also be interested in Wearable Technologies in Healthcare that could help with Alzheimer’s disease.