7 Stages and Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease

Knowing the signs and symptoms.

7 stages of Alzheimer's disease and it's symptomsThe term “dementia” is used to describe a set of symptoms that can include memory loss, difficulty thinking, problem solving, or issues with language. Dementia is caused by damage to the brain cells, and because Alzheimer's is a disease that destroys the brain, it is one of the most common causes of dementia.

There was a post on Facebook recently with the following wording:

Firstly there is a difference between Alzheimer's and vascular dementia- Alzheimer's patients can have medication that helps their cognitive state whereas vascular dementia patients have a death sentence. They progress backwards to the point where they can't look after themselves and are in a newborn state. But unlike a newborn they lose the ability to swallow. Then the choice must be made as to provide a feeding tube or not.

Imprisonment in one's own rapidly shrinking brain is how a doctor described it to me. I wouldn't wish Dementia/Alzheimer's on my worst enemy. As the patient's brain slowly dies, they change physically and eventually forget who their loved ones are. Patients can eventually become bedridden, unable to move & unable to eat or drink.

Although I agree there is a difference I feel the above is badly worded and does does not help to spread positive awareness. It states that Alzheimer's can be controlled by tablets but vascular dementia is a death sentence. They both shorten life, and possibly if caught early enough there is some evidence that early medications may help to slow Alzheimer's progression, but not long term.

Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia, after Alzheimer's disease, affecting around 150,000 people in the UK. Vascular dementia is caused by reduced blood supply to the brain due to diseased blood vessels.

The above ‘Facebook’ wording suggests Alzheimer's is a lesser, not as severe disease. This simply is not true. Both are utterly devastating.

Since there is such a variety of causes of Vascular dementia and therefore different degrees of damage, it's difficult to predict survival time for vascular dementia. Progression of vascular dementia depends on a number of factors including the extent of the damage in the brain. With Alzheimer’s the median survival rate after the beginning of symptoms is 8.4 years.

It is important to raise awareness, but it is crucial to make sure that information is factual and not misleading. Know the signs and symptoms and don't be afraid to seek advice and help. It is truly devastating diagnosis, but the quicker it is picked up, the more that can be done to help.

The Alzheimer's Society has several interesting and informative videos explaining what dementia is. If you would like any more advice or just to chat please do not hesitate to comment below or email me directly. I will respond and do understand.


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