Alzheimer’s disease affects people in different ways. Each person may experience certain symptoms or progress through the stages of this disease at their own pace.
According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), there are more than 55 million people worldwide living with dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease being the most common form, occurring in more than 60% of cases.
In the Americas region, more than 10 million people live with dementia And estimates show that the number of people with this disorder will double every 20 years, so it’s important to know a little more about it.
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Contrary to popular belief, dementia is not a normal part of aging and does not only affect the elderly, but is considered a risk factor.
Although the onset of Alzheimer’s disease cannot yet be stopped or reversed, early diagnosis can make a difference in treatment and in living with the condition.
According to the American Alzheimer’s Association, there are three stages. It is worth clarifying that this is not the only classification, as others speak of six or four.
In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, a person can function independently.
Driving, work, and social activities can still be performed, but the person may experience memory loss. You may forget the words you used frequently and the location of objects or places.
During a detailed medical examination, doctors can detect problems with memory or concentration, the association reports on its website.
Common difficulties include:
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“Mild Alzheimer’s is typically the longest stage and can last for many years,” says the Alzheimer’s Association.
During this time, people may find it most difficult to complete tasks such as paying bills, but they may still remember important details of their lives.
They may slur, get frustrated, angry, or act unexpectedly because damage to nerve cells in the brain can make it difficult to express thoughts and perform daily tasks.
Some symptoms may be:
In the last stage of this disease people lose the ability to respond to the environment, conduct a conversation and, in the end, control movements.
There are those who can still speak words or phrases, but communication is difficult. As memory and cognitive abilities deteriorate, personality can change dramatically.
In addition, it is at this time that people need a lot of help in everyday affairs and a permanent guardian.
Their behavior may include:
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The duration of each stage is relative, in some people it may take years, in others the deterioration can be much faster.
If you are the caregiver or family member of someone with Alzheimer’s disease, take into account all medical advice to ensure a peaceful life.
Laura Alejandra Albarracin Restrepo
WRITING A DIGITAL AREA
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