Alzheimer’s Stages – Alzheimer’s is a chronic illness that attacks the brain by destroying neurons. It is known as “the long goodbye” because it is a slow, progressive disease.
Types of Alzheimer’s Disease and Treatment
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia among older adults. It accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. There are different types of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Alzheimer’s Disease: Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. This type typically has a gradual onset, with memory loss being the primary symptom. Many people living during the early stages can still take care of themselves, cook and work. As the illness progresses, individuals lose the ability to do daily tasks such as dressing and bathing without assistance. Alzheimer’s disease further characterizes itself by language difficulties, personality changes, and delusions such as believing someone else is inside their body.
- Alzheimer’s disease with Lewy Body: This type accounts for 10 to 25 percent of dementia cases. It has a less gradual onset than Alzheimer’s. It can cause visual hallucinations, difficulty with gait and movement, and fluctuations in consciousness, such as being alert one moment and lethargic the next.
- Frontotemporal: This type is also known as frontotemporal degeneration or primary progressive aphasia because language difficulties are an early symptom. Frontotemporal is atypical; it usually affects people in their 50s and 60s, but individuals as young as their 30s have been diagnosed with the disorder. However, Alzheimer’s disease does not affect this age group.
- Vascular: This type of dementia occurs if a series of mini-strokes damage the brain.
- Mixed types: This type includes other types of dementia, such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
Alzheimer’s Stages and Prevention
Alzheimer’s stages vary.
- Stage One: This is the first stage of Alzheimer’s, where mild cognitive impairment begins. Symptoms are not noticeable to others, but start to have an effect on daily activities. At this point, individuals do not remember words as well and start to forget recent events more often. They may also forget how to do simple tasks such as making coffee or driving.
- Stage Two: Possible symptoms at this stage include constantly misplacing items and asking the same questions over and over; trouble performing familiar tasks like using a microwave oven; decreased interest in activities previously enjoyed, and forgetting important dates.
- Stage Three: In this stage, symptoms of Alzheimer’s become noticeable to others. Individuals may have trouble with reading, writing, and speaking. It becomes more difficult for people to perform complicated tasks such as playing a musical instrument or balancing a checkbook.
- Stage Four: At this point, the person experiences significant memory loss and difficulty communicating. Symptoms become more severe at this time.
- Stage Five: This stage is considered the middle level of Alzheimer’s disease severity. People suffer from constant delusions, paranoia, hallucinations, mood swings, and agitation.
- Stage Six: People in the final stage of Alzheimer’s disease have very little language comprehension and require round-the-clock care. They can no longer walk unassisted, bathe themselves, dress, or use the restroom without help.
Alzheimer’s prevention is important, as there is no cure. It is the most common form of dementia in older adults. Maintaining good cardiovascular health helps prevent the disease, especially by quitting smoking and getting regular exercise. Healthy eating habits also contribute to Alzheimer’s prevention. Limiting the amount of alcohol consumed, staying mentally active, and challenging the brain with word games are also ways to prevent Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s Medication and Treatment
Alzheimer’s treatment varies. Once Alzheimer’s disease gets diagnosed, doctors can prescribe medications to treat Alzheimer’s-specific symptoms. Alzheimer’s drug includes agitation, psychosis, sleep issues, and depression. Alzheimer’s treatment also includes using non-pharmacological interventions such as physical therapy.
While there is currently Alzheimer’s cure, staying on top of symptoms and seeking early diagnosis and treatment can help manage the condition and improve the quality of life for those affected by this devastating disorder.
Alzheimer’s Disease and Viagra
Viagra and Alzheimer’s disease may go hand-in-hand. Viagra may help reduce the risk of dementia. Viagra seems to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by protecting neurological connections in the brain. Viagra provides more blood flow to areas of the brain responsible for thinking. It also boosts the growth of new brain cells.
Viagra reduces inflammation that affects the body, and chronic inflammations are associated with loss of mental capabilities. Viagra may slow the progression of the disease and may protect against the development of tau tangles that are associated with Alzheimer’s.