Dementia Due To Alzheimer Disease
An individual with Alzheimer Disease has an overall life expectancy of around 10 years from the time of diagnosis. This figure may go up or down depending on the age of onset and overall health condition of the patient. If the individual is fit and does not have any other underlying illness the life expectancy tends to increase. If an individual is diagnosed with Dementia of Alzheimer type at around age 60 then that individual may live up to 70-80 years depending on their health status. In some studies, data shows that people have lived for over 20 years post diagnosis of Alzheimer Disease.
How Does Alzheimers Impact Life Expectancy
According to a study, the key factors that determine how long someone lives after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are gender, age, and level of disability:
- While men lived approximately 4.1 years following diagnosis, women lived approximately 4.6 years.
- When someone who is over the age of 90 is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, they live 3.8 years. In contrast, someone under the age of 70 lived 10.7 years.
- If a patient was frail when they were diagnosed, they didn’t live as long even after the adjustment for age has been made.
In the end, the average survival time for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia was 4.5 years.
How Do You Know What Stage Of Alzheimer’s Disease A Loved One Is In
The stages of Alzheimers disease presented in this post offer a reasonable framework from which to observe symptoms and understand the progression of the disease. Since there is no medical consensus for Alzheimers stages, as there is with cancer, it is important for caregivers to be aware of the individual symptoms and situation that their patient or loved one is experiencing. While healthcare providers may refer to a patients condition as late or early stage, any specific stage is less important than the context and understanding of what this means for care going forward.
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There is a lot of talk about the emotional pain patients and caregivers suffer when a loved one loses memories to Alzheimers. But what about the other symptoms? Here are tips from a Johns Hopkins expert on what to watch for and how to manage.
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Stages Of Alzheimer Disease
The stages of Alzheimer disease usually follow a progressive pattern. But each person moves through the disease stages in his or her own way. Knowing these stages helps healthcare providers and family members make decisions about how to care for someone who has Alzheimer disease.
Preclinical stage. Changes in the brain begin years before a person shows any signs of the disease. This time period is called preclinical Alzheimer disease and it can last for years.
Mild, early stage. Symptoms at this stage include mild forgetfulness. This may seem like the mild forgetfulness that often comes with aging. But it may also include problems with concentration.
A person may still live independently at this stage, but may have problems:
Remembering a name
The person may be aware of memory lapses and their friends, family or neighbors may also notice these difficulties.
Moderate, middle stage. This is typically the longest stage, usually lasting many years. At this stage, symptoms include:
Increasing trouble remembering events
Problems learning new things
Trouble with planning complicated events, like a dinner
Trouble remembering their own name, but not details about their own life, such as address and phone number
Problems with reading, writing, and working with numbers
As the disease progresses, the person may:
Physical changes may occur as well. Some people have sleep problems. Wandering away from home is often a concern.
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Utsw Study Finds Cognitive Decline Key Factor In Predicting Life Expectancy In Alzheimers Disease
The research, based on national data from autopsy-confirmed cases, could lead to better planning for patients and their families
DALLAS March 14, 2022 Cognitive decline is the biggest factor in determining how long patients with Alzheimers disease will live after being diagnosed, according to a new study from researchers at UT Southwestern. The findings, published in the Journal of Alzheimers Disease, are a first step that could help health care providers provide reliable prediction and planning assistance for patients with Alzheimers disease and their families.
Using a National Alzheimers Coordinating Center dataset on 764 autopsy-confirmed cases, C. Munro Cullum, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Neurological Surgery, and first author Jeffrey Schaffert, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in clinical neuropsychology at UT Southwestern, identified seven factors that helped predict life expectancy variances among participants. These factors are the most predictive of how many years of life remain after diagnosis.
Of the many variables studied, performance deficiencies on a brief cognitive screening test that focuses on orientation was the most significant predictor, accounting for about 20% of the variance in life expectancy. This was followed by sex, age, race/ethnicity, neuropsychiatric symptoms, abnormal neurological exam results, and functional impairment ratings.
Dr. Cullum holds the Pam Blumenthal Distinguished Professorship in Clinical Psychology.
Changes In Mood Emotions And Perceptions
Changes in mood remain in the later stages of dementia. Depression and apathy are particularly common.
Delusions and hallucinations are most common in the late stage of dementia. They are not always distressing but they can explain some changes in behaviour because the persons perception of reality is altered.
People with later stage dementia often respond more to senses than words. They may like listening to songs or enjoy textures. For example, they may like the feel of different types of material.
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Support For Dementia Caregivers At The End Of Life
Caring for people with Alzheimers or other dementias at home can be demanding and stressful for the family caregiver. Depression is a problem for some family caregivers, as is fatigue, because many feel they are always on call. Family caregivers may have to cut back on work hours or leave work altogether because of their caregiving responsibilities.
Many family members taking care of a person with advanced dementia at home feel relief when death happensfor themselves and for the person who died. It is important to realize such feelings are normal. Hospicewhether used at home or in a facility gives family caregivers needed support near the end of life, as well as help with their grief, both before and after their family member dies.
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Certain medications can also affect memory. A lack of sleep and an impaired thyroid function can negatively affect memory. Some of these conditions can also lead to a decreased ability to remember events. In addition to these, natural aging can affect brain function, and may lead to a slowdown in memory. Although this symptom does not necessarily mean that youre losing your memory, it could indicate a problem with your cognitive ability. If you are suffering from either, a medical evaluation is necessary to determine if youre suffering from memory loss. How Long Does a Person Live After Being Diagnosed With Alzheimers?
In addition to aging, medications can affect memory. Certain antidepressants, anxiety medications, and sleep disorders can all affect memory. A persons mental health can also contribute to memory problems. In some cases, a persons mental state may be affected by the medication they are taking. Some untreated medical conditions can lead to deterioration of the brain and affect the ability to learn and remember. It is also important to see a medical professional if your symptoms persist even after youve stopped taking certain medications.
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Can Alzheimer’s Disease Be Prevented
As the exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not clear, there’s no known way to prevent the condition.
But there are things you can do that may reduce your risk or delay the onset of dementia, such as:
- staying physically fit and mentally active
These measures have other health benefits, such as lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease and improving your overall mental health.
Read more about preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Dementia And Early Death
Across the globe, dementia rates are expected to double every 20 years for the foreseeable future, with an estimated 81 million cases by 2040.
It is clear from earlier studies that people with dementia have decreased survival compared with people without dementia. Even mild mental impairment linked to dementia is associated with an increase in death risk.
But the characteristics associated with mortality among patients with dementia have not been well understood.
There is general agreement that women with dementia tend to live slightly longer than men, but the impact of other characteristics, including education level, age at diagnosis, and marital status are less well known.
And many previous studies have been restricted to patients being treated for the disorder by a specialist or in a hospital setting, Brayne says.
“We wanted to see what is happening with the entire population, not just people who are treated for dementia,” she says.
Slightly over two-thirds of the people in the study who developed dementia were women, and the median age at dementia onset was 84 for women and 83 for men.
The median age at death was 90 for women and 87 for men. And average survival times varied from a high of 10.7 years for the youngest patients to a low of 3.8 years for the oldest .
As in other studies, dementia was associated with shorter survival, but the cognitive level among people with dementia did not appear to play a major role in death.
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What Are The Average Life Expectancy Figures For The Most Common Types Of Dementia
The average life expectancy figures for the most common types of dementia are as follows:
- Alzheimers disease around eight to 10 years. Life expectancy is less if the person is diagnosed in their 80s or 90s. A few people with Alzheimers live for longer, sometimes for 15 or even 20 years.
- Vascular dementia around five years. This is lower than the average for Alzheimers mostly because someone with vascular dementia is more likely to die from a stroke or heart attack than from the dementia itself.
- Dementia with Lewy bodies about six years. This is slightly less than the average for Alzheimers disease. The physical symptoms of DLB increase a persons risk of falls and infections.
- Frontotemporal dementia about six to eight years. If a person has FTD mixed with motor neurone disease a movement disorder, their dementia tends to progress much quicker. Life expectancy for people who have both conditions is on average about two to three years after diagnosis.
To find out about the support available to someone at the end of their life, and to their carers, family and friends, see our End of life care information.
You can also call Alzheimers Society on 0333 150 3456 for personalised advice and support on living well with dementia, at any stage.
Dementia Connect support line
Factors That Affect Life Expectancy With Dementia
As with life expectancy in general, many factors affect the expected length of survival after a diagnosis of dementia. If we include everyone of all ages, average life expectancy is decreased by almost nine years by dementia, but this number can be further refined based on individual characteristics. For example, an individuals sex is a factor affecting survival after dementia, just as it affects life expectancy in general. At all ages, expected survival after a dementia diagnosis is about 1.5 years longer for women than for men. Scientists are researching the biological basis for this, and it may also be explained in part by differences in social norms .
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Life Expectancy And Vascular Dementia
Repeated small strokes can damage the brain and cause vascular dementia. Its the second most common cause of the disease. The pattern of disease progression is different from the gradual deterioration of Alzheimers disease. The symptoms may be steady for a while, then suddenly get worse followed by a further period of stability. This reflects times when blood clots interrupt the blood supply to the brain, causing damage.
Because people with vascular dementia is linked to strokes, people affected often have other illnesses and may have worse general health. Research suggests that the average life expectancy is around four years. However, sudden or severe deterioration can happen when there is a further stroke.
Whats The Life Expectancy For Someone With Dementia
Each person will have an individual experience of dementia. The speed and pattern of progression of the disease can differ-but the condition is progressive and will get worse over time. Sadly, dementia will limit the life expectancy of the person affected the condition has now overtaken heart disease as the leading cause of death in England and Wales.
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Signs Of The Dying Process
As someones condition gets worse and they are within a few days or hours of dying, further changes are common. The person may:
- deteriorate more quickly than before
- lose consciousness
- develop an irregular breathing pattern
- have a chesty or rattly sound to their breathing
- have cold hands and feet.
These changes are part of the dying process when the person is often unaware of what is happening.
How Long Does A Person Live After Being Diagnosed With Alzheimers
While there is no perfect memory loss remedy, there are several things that you can do to prevent it. First of all, exercising regularly can help keep your lungs in good shape. People who get regular exercise have better memories, and a regular exercise program can reduce stress. Additionally, exercising can help prevent memory loss by keeping your mind active. Here are some of the best ways to make your brain healthier and keep your mind sharp. Read on to learn more. How Long Does a Person Live After Being Diagnosed With Alzheimers?
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How To Estimate Approximate Prognosis For People With Dementia
It is well known that dementia affects people differently and prognosis differs from individual to individual. However, there are certain factors that may give an approximate idea as to how long an individual will live after diagnosis of dementia. These factors are:
- Age of the patient: Individuals who are above the age of 85 years tend to live for a shorter period of time
- Overall Health: Individuals who are fit and healthy at the time of diagnosis and have no intercurrent illness tend to live longer.
- Type of Dementia: The type of dementia also plays a part in the overall prognosis of the individual.
- Coping Skills: The ability of the patient to function and cope with the diagnosis is also a key factor in the overall prognosis. If the patient is not able to cope with the diagnosis, has poor support system, develops conditions like depression will have a shorter life expectancy than patients who have good support system which allow the patient to cope with the diagnosis positively.
Dementia is quite disabling both for the patient and the family. How long an individual will live after diagnosis is diagnosed by the extent of the illness, age, and overall health status of patient. However, more than this, it is the will power of both the patient and the family members and their willingness to fight the disease is what ultimately decides as to how long an individual will live after being diagnosed with dementia.
What Is The Life Expectancy For Someone With Dementia
This is an incredibly difficult question to answer as there are many influencing factors, including the persons age and gender, the type of dementia and the stage of the condition at diagnosis. The average life expectancy after diagnosis for someone with Alzheimers, the most common form of dementia is 10 years. However, dementia progresses differently in everyone, meaning people can live anywhere from 2 years to 26 years after diagnosis.
The main way in which health care professionals estimate dementia life expectancy is by using the Global Deterioration Scale , also called the Reisberg Scale. It shows the average time someone is expected to live depending on which stage of dementia they are at.
|Stage||Expected Life Expectancy|
|Stage 1: No cognitive decline||N/A|
|Stage 2: Very mild cognitive decline||Unknown|
|Stage 3: Mild cognitive decline||2-7 years|
|Stage 4: Moderate cognitive decline||2 years|
|Stage 5: Moderately severe cognitive decline||1.5 years|
|Stage 6: Severe cognitive decline||2.5 years|
|Stage 7: Very Severe cognitive decline||1.5 to 2.5 years||2.5 years or less|
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How To Improve A Loved One’s Quality Of Life After Diagnosis
While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there are activities and therapies designed to improve your loved ones quality of life. For example, the extent to which your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can maintain their social relationships may play a large role.
At home, it’s important to try to maintain as much normalcy as possible. In particular, it can be helpful for your loved one to maintain their household responsibilities. In the later stages of the disease, your loved one’s needs are likely to change, and it’s critical for you as a caregiver to know how to care for yourself as well as your loved one.
Life Expectancy In Dementia Due To Pick Disease
Pick Disease which is also referred to as frontotemporal dementia is quite a debilitating disease. The average life expectancy of an individual with dementia caused due to this condition is around 7 years from the time of diagnosis. This data again is variable and depends on the age and overall health status of the individual.
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