Alzheimer's: Dr Chris discusses the early signs of condition
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Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that’s caused by a build-up of proteins around the brain. It’s not entirely clear how or why these protein deposits begin, but it can be a long process that starts years before symptoms develop.
There’s currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, and all available treatments aim to relieve and slow down symptoms.
But, the US has just approved the first new treatment for Alzheimer’s for nearly 20 years.
Aducanumab aims to treat the underlying cause of the condition, as opposed to the symptoms.
It’s still not approved for use in the UK, but at least 100,000 people could be suitable for the drug if it were to become available at a later date.
What are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease?
It can be quite difficult to know if you’re at risk of Alzheimer’s in its early stages.
The most common signs and symptoms might be easily confused for old age.
Everybody develops symptoms at a different pace. Some patients might take years to have any noticeable signs, while others could take months.
Generally, the symptoms of Alzheimer’s are broken down into three broad categories; early symptoms, middle-stage symptoms, and later symptoms.
What side effects could Alzheimer’s drugs cause? [LATEST]
Dr Chris shares four early signs of Alzheimer’s disease [QUOTES]
Dementia symptoms: Cognitive troubles indicative of Alzheimer’s [NEWS]
Early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
Forgetting about recent conversations or events
Forgetting the names of places and objects
Trouble thinking of the right word
Repetitively asking the same questions
Poor judgement or difficulty making decisions
Becoming less flexible and more hesitant to try new things
Middle-stage symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
Increasing confusion and disorientation – for example, getting lost, or wandering and not knowing what time of day it is
Obsessive, repetitive or impulsive behaviour
Delusions (believing things that are untrue) or feeling paranoid and suspicious about carers or family members
Problems with speech or language (aphasia)
Changes in mood, such as frequent mood swings, Depression and feeling increasingly anxious, frustrated or agitated
Difficulty performing spatial tasks, such as judging distances
Seeing or hearing things that other people do not (hallucinations)
The NHS said: “In the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease, the symptoms become increasingly severe.
“[They] can be distressing for the person with the condition, as well as their carers, friends and family.
“Hallucinations and delusions may come and go over the course of the illness, but can get worse as the condition progresses.
“Sometimes people with Alzheimer’s disease can be violent, demanding and suspicious of those around them.”
Later symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
Difficulty eating and swallowing (dysphagia)
Difficulty changing position or moving around without assistance
Weight loss – sometimes severe
Unintentional passing of urine (urinary incontinence) or stools (bowel incontinence)
Gradual loss of speech
Significant problems with short- and long-term memory
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