June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. A time of the year to go purple to show support for the millions of people struggling with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support, and research. The hope is to one day rid the world of Alzheimer’s disease.
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of brain disease, but it is usually associated with dementia. This disease is not part of normal aging, nor is it exclusively just for people 65 and older. There is a version of this disease called Early-onset Alzheimer’s that approximately 200,000 people under the age of 65 have according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Alzheimer’s worsens over time and is considered a progressive brain disease. There is currently no cure, but there are treatments available to help with symptoms and quality of life. Alzheimer’s is separated into 3 categories after symptoms begin to appear.
Stages of Alzheimer’s
The 3 stages of Alzheimer’s are mild Alzheimer’s disease (early stage), moderate Alzheimer’s disease (middle stage), and severe Alzheimer’s disease (late stage). The common difficulties and symptoms associated with the 3 stages of the disease according to the Alzheimer’s Association are listed below according to the stages:
Mild Alzheimer’s disease (early stage) common difficulties include:
- Problems coming up with the right word or name
- Trouble remembering names when introduced to new people
- Challenges performing tasks in social or work settings.
- Forgetting material that one has just read
- Losing or misplacing a valuable object
- Increasing trouble with planning or organizing
Moderate Alzheimer’s disease (middle stage) notable symptoms include:
- Forgetfulness of events or about one’s own personal history
- Feeling moody or withdrawn, especially in socially or mentally challenging situations
- Being unable to recall their own address or telephone number, or the high school or college from which they graduated
- Confusion about where they are or what day it is
- The need for help choosing proper clothing for the season or the occasion
- An increased risk of wandering and becoming lost
Severe Alzheimer’s disease (late stage) common difficulties include:
- Need round-the-clock assistance with daily activities and personal care
- Lack of awareness of recent experiences as well as of their surroundings
- Experiencing changes in physical abilities
- Having increasing difficulty communicating
Research and Progress
The number of people with Alzheimer’s is expected to skyrocket over the next several years. Though there is not a cure yet for this disease, scientists hope that in the near future, there will be. With the progress in research, the potential for early diagnosis and the development of better treatments, millions of people with Alzheimer’s may significantly experience a change in life. Within the last 10 years, there has been the first major clinical trial, identification of new genetic risk factors, and securing of historic funding increase for research. The Alzheimer’s Association’s vision is to have a world without Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.
Phoenix ER & Medical Hospital supports all families in our community and encourages them to watch out for symptoms and get tested early for Alzheimer’s Disease. This disease can be intimidating for many, but with help from organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association, many patients can get the support and treatment they need to live long, fulfilling lives.
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