Alzheimer's disease may be a progressive disorder that causes brain cells to waste away (degenerate) and die. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia — a continuous decline in thinking, behavioral and social skills that disrupts a person's ability to function independently.
The early signs of the disease could also be forgetting recent events or conversations. As the disease progresses, an individual with Alzheimer's disease will develop severe memory impairment and lose the power to hold out everyday tasks.
Current Alzheimer's disease medications may temporarily improve symptoms or slow the speed of decline. These treatments can sometimes help people with Alzheimer's disease maximize function and maintain independence for a time. Different programs and services can help support people with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers.
There is no treatment that cures Alzheimer's disease or alters the disease process within the brain. In advanced stages of the disease, complications from severe loss of brain function — like dehydration, malnutrition or infection — end in death.
Memory loss is that the key symptom of Alzheimer's disease . An early sign of the disease is typically difficulty remembering recent events or conversations. As the disease progresses, memory impairments worsen and other symptoms develop.
At first, a person with Alzheimer's disease may be aware of having difficulty with remembering things and organizing thoughts. A family member or friend may be more likely to notice how the symptoms worsen.
Brain changes associated with Alzheimer's disease lead to growing trouble with:
Everyone has occasional memory lapses. It's normal to lose track of where you put your keys or forget the name of an acquaintance. But the memory loss associated with Alzheimer's disease persists and worsens, affecting the ability to function at work or at home.
Making judgments and decisions
The ability to make reasonable decisions and judgments in everyday situations will decline. For example, a person may make poor or uncharacteristic choices in social interactions or wear clothes that are inappropriate for the weather. It may be more difficult to respond effectively to everyday problems, such as food burning on the stove or unexpected driving situations.
Planning and performing familiar tasks
Once-routine activities that need sequential steps, like planning and cooking a meal or playing a favourite game, become a struggle because the disease progresses. Eventually, people with advanced Alzheimer's may forget the way to perform basic tasks like dressing and bathing.
Changes in personality and behavior
Brain changes that occur in Alzheimer's disease can affect moods and behaviors. Problems may include the following:
Ø Social withdrawal
Ø Mood swings
Ø Distrust in others
Ø Irritability and aggressiveness
Ø Changes in sleeping habits
Ø Loss of inhibitions
Ø Delusions, such as believing something has been stolen
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