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Alzheimers Disease Is As Bad As It Gets

Alzheimer’s Disease is as bad as it gets in my book.


Which Of These Will Get Alzheimers

My Mom has Parkinsons disease and the mid stages of alzheimers, sometimes she remembers who we are and others she doesn’t appear to acknowledge us and worse for me she turns away from me when I go to kiss her or talk to her. It’s heart breaking…

Alzheimers is the gradual and progressive loss of one’s memory is a terrible thing to endure both for the sufferer and the relatives and friends alike. Alzheimer’s disease is another form of Dementia and eventually leads to a severe impact upon the affected person’s daily life which will lead to the requirement of full time nursing care. It usually affects our older generation although a form of it known as Early Onset Alzheimer’s can begin in some people as young as forty. It must be stressed that Alzheimer’s is not a normal process of getting old although people can be forgiven for thinking that because for one reason or another it is always in the news.
My mother suffers from Parkinson’s disease as well as Alzheimer’s and Dementia, she has been in a nursing home for over three years now, following a long stay in hospital after suffering a fall within her own home. It was a complete shock to everyone who knows here as she had been active and fit, looking after everyone else who needed attention. She is currently Eighty-four years old and we have seen a dramatic change since she was admitted to the nursing home. At first she had a little trouble walking and used a walking frame to get around the house and hospital ward, but now she is completely immobile and rarely holds a conversation.
Apparently this is the normal and anticipated stage of events but none the less it is heart wrenching to watch and we can only imagine what it is like for Mum on the inside. The nursing staff tells us that Mom is reasonably happy she eats well although she continues to lose weight and because of her immobility she needs to be turned regularly in order to avoid the complication of pressure sores. We must travel about an hour to visit Mom and sometimes she does not seem to notice us and says nothing. She does look at us and we try to keep up a conversation and tell her everything going on in our lives. On other visits Mom can communicate quite well and will ask and answer questions although she grows tired quite quickly, but each visit, especially if we feel it has been a bad one leaves both my wife and I feeling quite different thoughts.
I myself would not wish to carry on in that situation and I can’t shake the feeling that if Mom was her old self she would not wish to continue life if the choice was there and she has signed a declaration called a living will which prevents any medical intervention if there was ever an instance where she was to require any form of medical intervention to save her life or revive her or do anything to prolong her life artificially. She would be made comfortable and free from pain but that would be all. However at this moment and excluding Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s her health is generally fine. I feel guilty for having these dark thoughts although I am told that what I am feeling is perfectly normal as no-one would wish to see someone they love go through this existence and rely on Nursing staff to do everything to help her through a normal day. Anyone with Alzheimer’s can live an average of eight years after the signs first appear but this can vary wildly between various people depending on other medical conditions and the age and condition at it’s onset.

There are no two cases of Alzheimer’s alike but there are different stages that may be expected once a person is diagnosed with the illness. I am going to list them in order to help prepare anyone who is or who knows anyone who is going through this illness.
No Impairment at all showing no signs or difficulty holding a conversation.
Very Mild signs where only slight problems with memory which is likely to come and go.
Mild Cognitive Decline where some close relatives may notice the odd slip up but to others everything seems normal, even some medical examiners could struggle to spot the disease. But some early signs that you could look out for are;
Noticeable problems coming up with the right word or name Trouble remembering names when introduced to new people
Having noticeably greater difficulty 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 Cognitive Decline and close family members are noticing signs on an increasing basis and it is time to encourage the person to be checked out with a medical practitioner as soon as possible. Here is a list of these kinds of problems;
Forgetfulness of recent events
• Impaired ability to perform challenging mental arithmetic — for example, counting backward from 100 by 7s
Greater difficulty performing complex tasks, such as planning dinner for guests, paying bills or managing finances
Forgetfulness about one’s own personal history
Becoming moody or withdrawn, especially in socially or mentally challenging situations.

will-either-of this-couple-get-alzheimers ?

Will Either of this              Couple Get  Alzheimers ?

Severe Cognitive Decline means that it is blatantly obvious to other people especially that the person is struggling with memory, recent events and even parts of his own past, address and telephone numbers, friends and past events making daily life a challenge especially where finances and other affairs are concerned. There moods may begin to change and they may become agitated as they struggle with dressing correctly and they need more and more help each day. The stresses on their partner are going to be almost too much to bear without help from the medical community as well as their families. Toileting, cleaning up after themselves may become difficult and accidents will become frequent.
Next is Very Severe Cognitive Decline where impairment is so much that the person could not manage to communicate or even smile, they will struggle to say even a few words, or even sit up in a chair or sometimes not be able to hold their heads upright anymore as muscles waste away. Now every part of daily life has to be done for them from feeding to toileting and washing, they simply exist within a shell of their former selves, it is this stage where I feel my mom currently resides, it is terrible to experience and probably more so, I can only hope that she is not aware of what is happening anymore, I can hardly bear the thought that she may be aware of her current position. I can think of nothing worse, I hope she is not in any pain.
Late Stage Alzheimer’s Disease means that the affected person may well be reliant of full time care and has lost the power to communicate with speech but they will still have the ability to touch, smell and listen, so when we visit my wife will stroke her hair and rub scented lotion in her hands and arms, I play her music and sometimes if she is in the mood to watch tv we will set it to one of her favourite shows. We go through her old photographs especially of family members and while we sometimes feel she is not responding, we hope that she enjoys some aspect of our visit.

Treatment For Alzheimer Sufferer’s
At the moment there is no cure for Alzheimer’s although medication does exist to slow down the degenerative effect of memory loss. Currently there are four main drugs used in the USA, they are Donepezil, Rivastigmine, Galantamine and Memantine for the more sever case of the disease. They help by reducing the effects of Alzheimer’s but they do not stop the stages from occurring and for some there appears to be no benefits at all, so other underlying conditions can be treated as can any form of pain relief if it is experienced. Sufferers may also develop behavioral problems as the disease progresses so medication may also help, not with the condition but it may help the carer’s manage their patient a little easier. It is worth noting that the abuse of such drugs is well documented so it is up to the families to watch out for any signs that a drug is being over used or used for the wrong circumstances.

Alzheimer’s and Changes To The Brain
It has been established through years of research that microscopic changes from deep within the


Alzheimers Disease and Dementia

brain actually begin well before any memory loss is noticed. The brain is a fantastic organ doing billions of actions every second and each cell connects and communicates with other cells to form a communication network. Within this network groups of nerve cells have their own tasks, some may be dealing with sight, others sound or smell, then others thinking, remembering learning and so on.
In order to work effectively these groups need supplies in order to work effectively they use the supplies to generate energy, renew and get rid of waste, the cells process and store information and they communicate with each other which requires fuel and oxygen. It only takes a small disruption and the whole service can be affected. But on occasions a small problem could be fixed with the brain doing a work around. So a glitch goes unnoticed for a while, until the problems have got big enough to actually shut down part of the system, like memory for example. As the cells break down they cannot be replaced so this causes permanent changes to the brain

Research has discovered structures called Plaques and Tangles are suspected of disabling and eventually killing good cells. At the very least they are present in an Alzheimer’s Affected brain.
A form of protein deposit (Plaques) fragment called beta-amyloid occupy spaces between nerve cells in the brain and Tangles which are twisted fibers of another protein named tau which builds up inside the cells. It is known that most people develop these as they get older, Alzheimer’s sufferers have many more of these fibers and plaques. They also develop in a very predictable way starting in areas affecting memory before spreading further.
It is still too early to speculate what part they play in Alzheimer’s sufferers but it is believed that they impact on the critical communications between cells and disrupt the process in which the cells need to survive. But it is this destruction of the cells that cause irreparable damage to memory function, personality changes and eventually the ability to carry out the activity of daily living.
Research into all aspects of this dreadful disease continues in earnest today as it does with cancer, but the information which our scientists have gathered during the past fifteen years accounts for ninety percent of our current knowledge. Much of this information sheds light on how the brain is affected by Alzheimer’s, so the hope is that this understanding will lead to better treatments becoming available. There are many new trials being set up all the time and sponsorship is always welcome in order to help fund this research. I sincerely hope that a cure soon comes to light because no one should have to live like this.

Another possible link to Alzheimer’s disease that researchers are exploring is diabetes, specifically type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes develops when insulin becomes less efficient at processing sugar through the bloodstream. Studies show that approximately half of people with type 2 diabetes will go on to develop Alzheimer’s disease. With such a strong connection, the focus of some research studies is to explain the connection between the two disease.
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