Alzheimer Disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. Unfortunately, there is no cure at this time for this disease, and it only worsens as it progresses. Although this disease develops differently in every individual there are some common symptoms that occur. However, early symptoms are often missed or thought of as “age-related” concerns, or symptoms of stress.
Early symptoms most often start with the difficulty in remembering recent events. There are some subtle problems with attentiveness, planning, abstract thinking, and flexibility. Apathy can be observed at this stage. Memory capacities are affected differently. Older memories can be held on to longer. New facts and the ability to remember things short term begin to be affected first.
Another sign is the loss of vocabulary and the use of word fluency, which makes oral and written language increasingly difficult. In this early stage people with AD can usually continue to perform fine motor tasks but often require some assistance or supervision with the most cognitively demanding activities.
In the moderate stage of AD independence begins to be hindered. It becomes more difficult for the sufferer to perform even the basics of daily living tasks. Their speech becomes more difficult and the ability to recall vocabulary makes it difficult to communicate and begins to create frustration. In this stage an individual may be losing long-term memory and the ability to remember close relatives. This stage is very difficult for the caregiver as the sufferer may have bouts of crying, aggression, or resistance to caregiver. There are also periods of delusional symptoms causing stress for everyone involved. As the disease continues to progress the sufferer will often withdrawal from family and friends. Often this is a time when it is discussed and procedures begin to have the person moved from home care to a long-term care facility.
During the advance stage of AD, the person becomes completely dependant upon caregivers. Language is reduced to simple phrases or even single words as the ability to recall basic vocally has been lost. Although, an individual can still show aggressiveness, apathy and exhaustion are more common. In this stage, people are incapable of performing even the most basic of functions. For instance, getting dressed, brushing teeth, going to the bathroom unassisted. AD is a terminal illness, the cause of death usually being an external factor such as infection.
Altzeimer Disease develops over an unknown timeframe and can be undiagnosed for years. The average life expectancy after being diagnosed with this disease is approximately 7 years. At present there is no known cure for the disease and treatment instead focusses on the symptoms. Usually it is a spouse or close relative that takes on the role of caregiver, placing a great deal of stress on that person.
Seeing a chiropractor can help. Subluxations can affect brain and body function as they can cause pressure on the brain and spinal cord. Chiropractors can locate and correct these subluxations. Everyone should include chiropractic care as part of their healthcare especially if you are someone who suffers from AD or any neurological disorder.
Everyone should be checked for toxicity and subluxations while they are young as they will have more energy and drive to implement changes in their lives that can promote healing. Speak with your chiropractor about ways you can decrease your risk for AD and also prolong symptoms.
If you are in Ottawa or surrounding area and need additional help or resources in caring for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease visit the Ottawa Alzheimer’s Association’s site: www.alzheimer-ottawa-rc.org