The core symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is Cognitive Decline, it’s the functional deterioration that has the greatest impact on the alzheimer’s patient themselves plus it is the actual loss that causes most of the care needed by patients with AD, including residency in the nursing home. In general, functional abilities decline right alongside cognitive abilities. However, the exact correlation between these functions is sure not perfect, which suggests that factors other than the AD severity account has to account for part of the variance between patients. However , the overall pattern shows some similarities between groups of patients having similar disease severity. This is shown in the functional Assessment staging scale , this is a seven point scale of functional impairment,with 1 having no impairment and 7 being severe full blown AD.
Dementia can be defined as a progressive deterioration of the brain which in turn leads to deterioration in memory as well as other cognitive functions.Dementia usually affects a person at and old age. Therefor it must be identified as different from cognitive decline due to old age.
Mild cognitive impairment causes mild but noticeable changes in the decrease of cognitive abilities like the thinking abilities and the memory power. It is an intermediate stage between cognitive decline of regular normal aging and the severe signs of dementia. In amnestic Mild Cognitive impairment , patients starts to forget important information’s like appointments, conversations they have had, etc. Whereas in nonamnestic MCI,a person’s thinking ability is slowed.There is no cause for MCI, but studies show that the shrinkage of hippocampus, the enlargement of ones brain’s fluid-filled spaces and slower use of glucose may be other possible causes.
A comparison of various aspects of disease progression between mild vs. Moderate AD was reported in this observational 3 year study . The cognitive decline was significantly faster among those with moderate AD using the ADAS-cog scale but not the MMSE test,which indicates that the measure was dependent on the scales used. Deterioration on the IADL was similar between the different disease stages examined; however the rate of basic ADL impairment was more pronounced in the group with moderate AD. This finding has important clinical implications, underlining the important of functional assessments in the early stages of AD to avoid safety issues(e.g. driving and financial capacity) and to offer these impaired individuals the necessary formal care. Use of NSAIDs/acetylsalicylic acid was a protective factor for better cognitive outcome in moderate AD ,suggesting that patients with greater neurodegeneration as well as cerebral inflammation have added advantages of longer-term treatment with
Patients in stage 4 can quite accurately be diagnosed as having Alzheimer’s Disease. Their cognitive decline will start to effect their ability to do everyday tasks at home- such as getting dressed or preparing meals. Additionally, some patients may undergo emotional changes such as unusual moodiness due to the confusion that goes along with their decline. because of these increased difficulties stage 4 patients may not be able to live alone. The average length of stage 4 is about two years.
Also stage 4 Patients lose the ability to manage or respond to their environment,to carry on a conversation and eventually to control movement. They may still be able to say words or phrases. They will need help with most of their daily personal care, including eating and using the toilet. They could also lose the ability to smile, sit without support as well as being able to hold their heads up
At Stage 6, more acute Alzheimer related cognitive decline show-up through symptoms like not remembering the names of their spouses, getting lost when going out for a walk around the block or close by home, frequent insomnia, and difficulties in using the toilet. Aside from memory impairment, the person may also experience anxiety and show signs of acute personality changes. They may even become suspicious of their care-taker and delusional.
I Have ALzheimer’s