This degenerative disease has 3 evolutionary stages of symptoms. See what they are to know how to recognize them and seek treatment
Alzheimer’s is the name of a neurodegenerative disease that enters the group of dementias. The true cause of the disease is not yet known, but there are treatments that reduce Alzheimer’s symptoms.
Even with unknown causes, it is known that the brain is losing its capacity because nerve cells are covered by harmful agents.
Therefore, the cells lose communication with each other, deteriorate and the person loses his memory, attention, language, concentration, thinking and functional abilities. Look at the evolution of Alzheimer’s symptoms.
1st Phase: initial Alzheimer’s symptoms
The phases of Alzheimer’s symptoms differ according to the amount of diseased cells in the brain. The more the disease progresses and occupies other parts, the more capacities are compromised. Basically, three phases of symptoms are considered, and in the first they usually realize:
Moderate memory loss, mainly about recent events, such as concentrating and holding long conversations
Slight disorientation in terms of time and space, being able to feel lost in environments you don’t know
Slight difficulty communicating, suddenly forgetting everyday words and names of acquaintances
Mood swings, including all the symptoms you are already experiencing, which causes anxiety and irritability
Reduction of income at work and life in society
2nd phase: moderate symptoms
Even if the person has already realized that he may be ill, there is no way to prevent his progression. Therefore, all the Alzheimer’s symptoms mentioned in the 1st phase begin to intensify:
Memory is even harder to reach, forgetting, for example, people’s names, having difficulty recognizing them, but still knowing that they are familiar
Difficulty organizing logical thoughts and you may not be able to end a conversation or glimpse topics
Most frequent disorientation of time and space
Greater difficulty communicating and expressing yourself because you cannot remember the words you want to use
Behavior changes, repetition of questions, restlessness, smell, seeing or hearing things that are not happening, delusions, aggression and sexual disinhibition
Feeling of loss or insecurity, with sudden mood swings, from sadness to anger for no apparent reason
Sleep disturbances, appetite, motor coordination problems and the onset of addiction, since you can no longer perform all daily activities perfectly or remember what needs to be done. The person needs supervision.
3rd phase: advanced symptoms
Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s symptoms can get worse than in the 3rd phase because the brain will now be busier with the disease. At this stage, the patient can no longer be alone. She presents:
Severe memory loss, although studies show that memory does not disappear, it is impossible to achieve
Acute disorientation, unable to understand where you are and what time it is
Very difficult to communicate, with fragmented and empty speech, needing to make gestures to be able to express what you want
Total dependence for activities, such as eating and using the bathroom
Progressive loss of the ability to walk without help, sit without support, keep your head straight and smile
Difficulty swallowing food, this also causes weight loss
What doctor to consult?
The evolution of the first to the third phase is very variable depending on each person. The average is that a patient with Alzheimer’s lives between 3 and 20 years.
It will also depend on whether the medical condition is diagnosed at an early stage and doctors are already beginning to prescribe treatments that decrease symptoms and stimulate cognitive activities, keeping the person as active as possible.
Therefore, as soon as you begin to notice the first signs, either in yourself or in a relative with whom you live, you should find a neurologist as soon as possible. If the person is already old and you are not sure what you are feeling, you can also go to the geriatrician. Another option is to go to the psychiatrist.
How do you make the diagnostic?
There is no single exact test that diagnoses Alzheimer’s. When the person arrives at the neurologist, he will perform a series of evaluations and exams. The intention is first to rule out the possibility of other ailments with similar symptoms . Only then can the presence of Alzheimer’s be considered.
The doctor will do it through family history analysis, physical exams, blood and urine tests, memory tests and mental status. You can also do tomography, MRI and electroencephalogram tests to evaluate the brain.
The most important factor is that you seek medical advice as soon as possible to diagnose and treat the disease in its early stages, which will increase hope and quality of life.