Patients with this diagnosis die on average six years after diagnosis, but sometimes the duration of the disease varies up to 20 years.
The basis of diagnosis is a system that determines the symptoms characterizing the seven stages. This system was created by Dr. Barry Reisberg, MD, who is the director of New York University.
This context marks some stages corresponding to the widely used: mild, moderate, and also moderately heavy and heavy stages.
Stage 1 Alzheimer's disease is marked by the absence of disorders. Patients have no problems with memory, and the disease itself is not expressed obviously.
Stage 2 Alzheimer's disease is marked by a slight decrease in mental abilities. This is both a normal age-related change and an early sign of Alzheimer's disease. Patients feel slight lapses in memory, forget familiar names, words, keys, places, glasses, other household items. These problems do not appear obvious or obvious to friends, colleagues, relatives.
Stage 3 Alzheimer's disease includes a slight decrease in mental abilities.
The early stages of Alzheimer's disease are not diagnosed in all individuals. Relatives, friends, colleagues are already beginning to notice shortcomings. Problems with concentration and memory become noticeable during clinical trials. The difficulties are as follows: incorrect spelling of names, words; difficulties in solving social problems; lethargy; the inability to retell the text read; reduced ability to organize and also plan.
Stage 4 Alzheimer's disease is marked by a moderate decrease in mental abilities. A thorough physical examination reveals the following shortcomings: loss of ability to perform calculations in the mind, inability to manage finances, lost memories.
Stage 5 Alzheimer's disease is marked by moderate severity, as well as a decrease in mental abilities, gaps in memory, and a lack of mental abilities.
Patients need some daily help. This stage is marked by the forgetfulness of the address, telephone number, season, difficulties in calculating the mind, difficulty dressing for the season, but patients retain knowledge of themselves and remember their name, as well as the names of their relatives and children. They do not need maintenance during meals or toilets.
Stage 6 Alzheimer's disease is marked by a strong decrease in mental abilities. Memory gets worse, there are significant personality changes. Sick need to constantly help. At this stage, patients forget their recent experience, events, remember their personal history in part, sometimes forget the names of relatives, but distinguish friends from strangers. Sick need help with dressing, because they make mistakes when dressing, putting on shoes. Patients have sleep disorders, they need help in the toilet, there are episodes of urinary incontinence, feces, personality changes, as well as behavioral symptoms. Patients become suspicious, they often attend hallucinations, anxiety and delirium. The patient often tears his clothes, behaves aggressively, antisocial. He has a tendency to wander.
Stage 7 Alzheimer's disease involves a significant reduction in mental abilities.
The last stage of Alzheimer's disease is marked by a loss of ability to respond to the environment, ability to speak, and also control movements. Patients do not recognize the word, but phrases can speak. Sick need always the presence of people, as well as assistance from them. Without assistance, they can not walk. Patients without support do not sit, do not smile, they have a tone of the head and neck muscles. Reflexes turn into abnormal, and the muscles all tense. There are problems with swallowing.
Along with the proposed stages, there is another system for assessing the disease. Alzheimer's disease has four of the following stages: pre-dementia, early dementia, moderate dementia, severe dementia.
It is characterized by the first cognitive difficulties: not performing complex everyday tasks, there are disorders in memory - difficulties in recalling the information learned earlier, inability to assimilate information, problems with concentration, cognitive flexibility, planning and abstract thinking, semantic memory is disturbed. Apathy appears.
The stage is marked by a progressive decrease in memory, the appearance of agnosia. Patients have speech disorders, apraxia (movement disorders). Old memories of personal life, learned facts are lost, the memory of the sequence of actions (for example, how to dress) is lost. There is aphasia (poor vocabulary, reduced fluency), poor coordination in writing, drawing.
The ability to act independently due to progressive deterioration of the condition decreases. Much more disturbed coordination of movements. Speech disorders become obvious; a person often selects incorrect words to replace forgotten ones. Reading skills are lost, as well as writing. This stage is characterized by an increase in memory problems; the sick person does not recognize close relatives. Long-term memory also deteriorates, and abnormalities become noticeable, vagrancy, irritability, evening exacerbation, emotional lability, crying, spontaneous aggression, resistance to care and care appear. Incontinence develops.
The last stage of Alzheimer's disease is characterized by complete dependence on the help of other people. Language proficiency is reduced to the use of individual words and single phrases. Loss of verbal skills retains the ability to understand speech. For this stage is characterized by the manifestation of aggression, apathy, exhaustion. The patient needs help, he moves with difficulty, loses muscle mass, unable to get out of bed, eat independently. The lethal outcome is due to a third-party factor (pneumonia, pressure ulcer).
Alzheimer's Disease Treatment
The treatment of this disease is very difficult, since Alzheimer's disease affects the occipital region of the brain, where the centers of vision, touch, and hearing are located, which are responsible for making decisions. The same changes occur in the frontal lobes, which are responsible for the ability to music, languages, calculations. All that we experience, think, feel is in the entorhinal cortex. What worries us deeply, and also seems to us uninteresting or boring, causing us joy or sadness — happens here. There is no one medicine that can cure a person. In the treatment of cognitive impairment, cholinesterase inhibitors are used - Rivastigimn, Donepezil, Galantamine and NMDA-antagonist - Memantine.
How to treat Alzheimer's disease? In the complex treatment of effective substances and antioxidants that improve microcirculation, blood supply to the brain, hemodynamics, as well as reducing cholesterol. Medical preparations are prescribed by neurologists and psychiatrists. Psychiatrists treat a person for symptoms.
Relatives have the hardest, they need to understand that the patient's behavior is triggered by illness. С их стороны по отношению к больному важно терпение, уход.The last stage of Alzheimer's disease is the most difficult in the care: the patient needs to create safety, provide nutrition, prevent infections and pressure sores. It is important to streamline the daily routine, it is recommended to make a reminder letter for the patient, and in everyday life to protect him from stressful situations.
Stimulating methods of treatment are: art therapy, music therapy, solving crossword puzzles, communicating with animals, exercise. Relatives should maintain the physical activity of a sick person as long as possible.