Alzheimer's Disease: What is it? Stages defined
Does anyone you know forget something more often now than before?
Do family members see a change in usual behavior?
Are there any problems in performing daily activities due to forgetfulness?
Are there problems in doing simple math or calculations?
If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of these questions, and the individual is 55 or older, a visit to the doctor to rule out Alzheimer’s disease may be considered.
Forgetfulness, memory loss, depression, anxiety, and confusion at age 55 or higher may suggest the beginning of something that may turn into Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease may lead to complete loss of memory and usual judgment of right or wrong. In the late stages, the person may no longer be able to recognize previously familiar people, including their relatives. Treatment may improve signs and symptoms, but cure and prevention are yet to be discovered. Research is going on throughout the nation for early detection, treatment, and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and other memory and cognitive related disorders.
Alzheimer's disease is estimated to affect more than four million older people in the United States. Although it is occasionally identified in patients in their forties and fifties, it is most frequently associated with advancing age. It doubles in prevalence with every five years past the age of 65; thus, extending life by ten years quadruples the probability of the disease. Alzheimer’s disease robs patients of an active, productive life and can devastate families both financially and emotionally.
Alzheimer’s disease leads to the complete loss of memory and self-care abilities. Although different patients may experience different rates of decline and different symptoms, all patients regress from needing supervision, to custodial care, to requiring nursing care. Receiving a full evaluation is an important step for families. Depression, thyroid disease, and untreated diabetes are among the conditions that should be ruled out. Treatment may improve signs and symptoms, but a cure and prevention are yet to be discovered.