What are the warning signs of Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's disease

What are the warning signs of Alzheimer's disease?

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive form of neurodegenerative disorder that leads to disruption of neural connections and the death of brain cells. These changes cause dementia and disability. The disease is most often found in elderly people, but cases have been recorded among young people.

Signs of Alzheimer's disease: absent-mindedness, constant memory lapses (the patient forgets where he put his things, what he bought, where he lives), repeating the same stories, impaired concentration, irritability, drowsiness or insomnia, problems with speaking and writing.

Symptoms and signs of Alzheimer's disease:

Alzheimer's symptoms progress slowly. The first symptomatic manifestations of dementia appear long before the diagnosis is confirmed. There are four stages of the disease.

  1. Predementia. It is difficult to detect as it can be mistaken for stress. A person experiences a feeling of fatigue, memory decreases (the patient cannot remember a list of several names, poorly assimilates information), interest in life disappears, isolation and apathy appear.
  2. Early dementia. Symptoms are complicated by speech defects: the names of household items are forgotten, the speed of speech decreases, the vocabulary is reduced, a confusion of similar words occurs, handwriting deteriorates. It is at this time that the patient goes to the clinic.
  3. Moderate dementia. It is characterized by difficulties in building logical connections. A person does not dress for the weather, is lost in space, does not remember how to get home, does not know his address, forgets his family and himself. Tearfulness, aggression appear, long-term memory is disturbed.
  4. Severe dementia. A person completely degrades, he is not able to control physiological processes in the body, he is not able to take food on his own.

With such a diagnosis, with proper care, a person can live to a ripe old age. In Russia and in foreign countries, there are special clinics and boarding houses for such patients, where patients are helped to adapt, to remember basic self-care skills.

Early signs of Alzheimer's

The early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease are not always noticeable and are often overlooked. These include:

  • speech changes - phrases do not communicate well with each other, the language becomes poor, and the conversation is empty;
  • prolonged sleep - significantly aggravates memory problems, it is very important in such a disease that a night's sleep lasts no more than 6-7 hours;
  • behavioral changes - a person's character, habits change, difficulties arise in making decisions and planning the day;
  • insensitivity to pain - the patient describes severe pain as mild discomfort;

Signs of Alzheimer's Disease in Old Age.

Elderly people often hide the presence of health problems, so you should pay attention to:

  • short-term memory: how often older people forget information, lose things or do not remember where they are;
  • insomnia at night and sleepiness during the day;
  • unsteady gait;
  • loss of interest in familiar and favorite activities: fishing, knitting, embroidery;
  • problems with spoken and written speech: meaningful words are replaced by pronouns, the brain loses its ability to think clearly - extensive reflections are noted;
  • changes in character: excessive suspicion, nervousness, obsessive teachings;
  • a hypertrophied sense of gullibility and naivety push Alzheimer's patients to rash acts (they can give money to scammers);
  • sloppy appearance.

At the first stages of the development of the disease, older people do not require constant monitoring and attention. When symptoms progress and the signs of dementia worsen, patients need special care.

Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease in Young People

The propensity to develop the disease can be determined after passing a molecular genetic analysis. Scientifically proven the existence of five main regions in the human genome, provoking problems with metabolism and bringing death to neurons. They are located on chromosomes 1, 12, 14, 19 and 21. Mutational changes at these sites contribute to the accumulation of negative amyloid and tau protein.

In a child with genetic abnormalities of this kind, the part of the brain responsible for memory is 6% less than in a healthy baby. Over time, this part decreases to a critical point.

The presence of Down syndrome in a child significantly increases the risk of developing Alzheimer's, the symptoms are not immediately detected due to the specifics of the primary disease. Such children initially lag behind in development, they have poor memory, attention, low adaptation.

In children with Down syndrome, the aging of the body occurs faster, respectively, changes in the brain area act as an urging factor. Almost all of these children are diagnosed with Alzheimer's by the age of 40.

Signs of Alzheimer's in Women

According to statistics, the female part of the population is more susceptible to senile dementia than men, most of whom simply do not live to be 70-80 years old. In postmenopausal women, the production of estrogen decreases, which helps regulate metabolism in the brain. Therefore, their body is more prone to the accumulation of negative substances that bring death to neurons.

Signs of Alzheimer's in Men

The early signs of Alzheimer's in the sexes are different:

women experience problems with memory, attention, reaction, logical connections between objects;

men initially experience speech abnormalities and difficulties in movement and motor skills.

This data was provided by the research team at the International Conference in Toronto. More than 1000 people were examined, the posthumous examination of which indicated some discrepancies in symptoms.

Alzheimer's Treatment

The available methods of therapy cannot cure Alzheimer's; they can only improve the patient's quality of life and reduce symptomatic manifestations.

The most commonly prescribed drugs are memantine and anticholinesterase agents. With their help, you can support the protection of neurons from death. There are several side effects: severe headache attacks, dizziness, hallucinations.

Cholinesterase inhibitors have not shown themselves in any way, except that against the background of their intake, weight loss, gastritis and muscle spasms occur. They do not slow down the course of the disease and do not improve health.

If the patient's behavior is aggressive and antisocial, then antipsychotics are prescribed, but they should only be taken in extreme cases. According to medical research, taking them can lead to movement disorders, 

decreased cognitive function, and they also significantly increase mortality.

The psychosocial methods of treatment include art treatment, which is aimed at complete relaxation. Such therapy helps the patient calm down, reduces aggression, improves concentration and mood.