What Are The Signs Symptoms And Stages Of Alzheimer’s Disease
Although the course of Alzheimer’s disease varies from person to person, several stages are recognized. How many stages are recognized depends on what expert you consult . Almost all experts agree that there at least three major stages:
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life
- Problems with speaking or writing
- Misplacing things in unusual places and not being able to retrace steps to find items
- Avoiding work and/or social activities
- Changes in personality, behavior, and mood.
Although some of the signs and symptoms may appear occasionally with age-related changes and not be due to Alzheimers disease, if the above signs and symptoms cause anyone to worry about a potential diagnosis of Alzheimers, the individual should be seen and evaluated by a health-care professional.
- May become withdrawn from social contacts
- May shun challenging situations
Since the above problems become prominent and mood swings are usually out of character for the individual, this is the stage when most of the people have theirs doctors diagnose them with Alzheimer’s disease .
What Is Vascular Dementia
The word dementia describes a set of symptoms that can include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. In vascular dementia, these symptoms occur when the brain is damaged because of problems with the supply of blood to the brain.
These pages outline the causes, types and symptoms of vascular dementia. It looks at how it is diagnosed and the factors that can put someone at risk of developing it. It also describes the treatment and support that are available.
Press play to watch a three-minute video about vascular dementia:
Darker Area Of Skin That Feels Like Velvet
A dark patch of velvety skin on the back of your neck, armpit, groin, or elsewhere could mean that you have too much insulin in your blood. This is often a sign of prediabetes.The medical name for this skin condition is acanthosis nigricans.
Often causing darker skin in the creases of the neck, AN may be the first sign that someone has diabetes.
- Get tested for diabetes
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Pruritus Associated With Systemic Diseases
Systemic diseases often lower the itch threshold. In this setting, a mild stimulus can trigger an exaggerated pruritic response in some patients. Comorbid xerosis resulting from decreased skin hydration may exacerbate pruritus in older patients with systemic diseases. This is especially true for institutionalized geriatric patients or for individuals with dementia whose general inactivity allows them to be distracted by pruritic stimuli.
Patients with liver disease often experience pruritus. Itching is a presenting symptom in 25% of those with jaundice from biliary obstruction or other causes, such as cirrhosis, pancreatic cancer, or hepatitis. It has been hypothesized that pruritus in these patients might be the result of an accumulation of bile in nerves or skin cells, but this remains unproven.
Increased levels of plasma lysophosphatidic acid and of serum autotoxin have been observed in patients with cholestatic pruritus. Autotoxin is involved in the conversion of lysophosphatidylcholine to LPA. High concentrations of bile salts or of endogenous opioids have been implicated as well. Other causes of neurogenic itch associated with cholestasis include the release of intrinsic opioids or the extrinsic administration of opiate drugs. The symptoms of cholestatic pruritus are usually more pronounced at night.
When To See A Dermatologist
Diabetes can cause many other skin problems. Most skin problems are harmless, but even a minor one can become serious in people who have diabetes. A board-certified dermatologist can recognize skin problems due to diabetes and help you manage them.
Are all dermatologists board certified?
No. See what it takes to become board certified.
ImagesImage 1: Image Courtesy of Clark C. Otley, MD. All Rights Reserved
Images 3, 7, 8, 9: Used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.
Image 2 from DermNetNZ
Some images used with permission of Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
ReferencesCohen Sabban, EN. Cutaneous manifestations of diabetes mellitus from A to Z. Focus session presented at: 74th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology March 4-8, 2016 Washington D.C.
Duff M, Demidova O, et al. Cutaneous manifestations of diabetes mellitus. Clinical Diabetes. 2015 33:40-8.
Kalus AA, Chien AJ, et al. Diabetes mellitus and other endocrine disorders. In: Wolff K, Goldsmith LA, et al. Fitzpatricks Dermatology in General Medicine . McGraw Hill Medical, New York, 2008:1461-70.
McKinley-Grant L, Warnick M, et al. Cutaneous manifestations of systemic disease. In: Kelly AP and Taylor S. Dermatology for Skin of Color. . The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. China, 2009:481-4.
Morgan AJ and Schwartz RA. Diabetic dermopathy: A subtle sign with grave implications. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008 58:447-51.
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Vascular Dementia: What Is It And What Causes It
Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia , affecting around 150,000 people in the UK. Find out more about vascular dementia and what causes it.
Along with all our usual information on dementia, we have more advice to support you during coronavirus.
Skin May Help Spot Alzheimer’s And Parkinson’s Disease
Health editor, BBC News online
Scientists have proposed a new idea for detecting brain conditions including Alzheimer’s – a skin test.
Their work, which is at an early stage, found the same abnormal proteins that accumulate in the brain in such disorders can also be found in skin.
Early diagnosis is key to preventing the loss of brain tissue in dementia, which can go undetected for years.
But experts said even more advanced tests, including ones of spinal fluid, were still not ready for use.
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Not Understanding What Objects Are Used For
Now and again, most people find themselves desperately searching for the right word. In fact, failing to find the word you are thinking of is surprisingly common and not necessarily a sign of dementia, says Rankin. But losing knowledge of objects not just what they are called, but also what they are used for is an early dementia symptom. Oddly enough, people who are losing this knowledge can be very competent in other areas of their lives.
Home Care For Scratching And Picking
Keep skin moisturized to prevent dryness and skin tearing. There are a few different things you can try.
Pastes are thicker than ointments and soak into the skin slowly. Theyâre used only on the outside of the body. You can make your own anti-itch paste by mixing baking soda with water and applying it to your loved oneâs skin.
Creams can be rubbed into the skin and are absorbed more easily than ointments or pastes. These are used on the skin or in the vagina. You can dab an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream on your loved oneâs itchy spots.
Make sure to choose unscented products designed for sensitive skin.
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Changes In Behaviour May Include:
- Distress or agitation this may be because the person is confused about where they are, who they are with or what they are meant to be doing.
- Sundowning the person may become more agitated and confused in the late afternoon and early evening. This can be caused by a range of factors including disturbance to the body clock, too much or too little sleep, or medication. It may help to give the person something meaningful to do at this time of day and make sure the environment is suitable . Going outside during the day can help.
- Aggression the person may react aggressively for a range of reasons for example, they may be in pain or feeling threatened, may not understand what is going on or trying to communicate a need.
Dementia and aggressive behaviour
The person may move their hands much more often. They may constantly wring their hands, pull at their clothes, tap or fidget, or touch themselves inappropriately in public. This can be a sign of a need for example, the person may pull at their clothes because they are too hot or need the toilet. A rummage box, containing objects related to the persons past such as pictures, jewellery or souvenirs, may help as it gives the person an opportunity for moving their hands.
Restlessness and dementia
Early Signs Of Dementia
If you recognize any of the following early signs in yourself or a loved one, it is important to speak with your doctor. You can then work together to find out what is causing your symptoms, including obtaining some tests or possibly finding a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating dementia:
- Forgetfulness that hinders your ability to get through the day: This can include asking about the same thing repeatedly, especially if it was just learned this is different from sometimes forgetting names or dates and remembering them at a later time
- Growing challenges in planning or solving problems: This might include being unable to concentrate, focus, or follow directions. The difficulties are ongoing, and not just occasional errors. They might occur, for example, when balancing a checkbook, paying the bills or following a familiar recipe
- Difficulty completing tasks that used to be easy: Examples include getting lost while driving on a familiar route or needing help to use the settings on a microwave which were used independently before
- Confusion about what season it is, or the passage of time: Forgetting the date, time and location can occur this is different from temporarily thinking it is Wednesday when it is Thursday
- New problems with words, speaking or writing to the point that joining a conversation is difficult: This is different from sometimes having trouble finding the right word
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Signs Of Alzheimers Disease That Have Nothing To Do With Memory Loss
Once mom or dad reaches a certain age, it’s easy to get swept away by worries about memory loss. Every time she wonders where she put her keys or he forgets his glasses are right there on his head, you probably think, “This is it, the beginning of the end.”
Understandable, considering there’s currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. In February, Merck halted a clinical trial for what had seemed to be a promising drug. But then investigators determined there was “virtually no chance of finding a positive clinical effect.” This disappointing news is only the latest in a string of similar letdowns for the estimated 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer’s disease and their families.
It’s bleak, yes, but it’s not hopeless. Early detection of Alzheimer’s symptoms can still lead to early treatment with the medications we do have, used to manage symptoms. Early treatment allows patients to live well for longer, says Dean M. Hartley, PhD, director of science initiatives at the Alzheimer’s Association, as well as make plans sooner for if and when the situation worsens. Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s could also land someone in a clinical trial, says Dorene M. Rentz, PsyD, associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, where patients not only receive quality care but could also play a role in new discoveries in prevention and treatment.
Who Does It Affect
Changes in perception and less commonly, hallucinations, can affect anyone who has physical changes to either their sensory organs, or their brain or both. This means that it can affect people who have sight or hearing problems, delirium, an infection, side effects or adverse effects from taking medication, or the over-use of alcohol.
Changes in perception are more common in people with dementia as they may experience these physical changes to their sensory organs, as well as experiencing changes in the brain. People who are diagnosed with dementia with Lewy bodies are more likely to have visual hallucinations than people with any other form of dementia, due to the particular changes in the brain that take place with this kind of dementia.
Changes in perception and hallucinations in dementia
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Changes Of Behaviour In The Later Stages
People in the later stages of dementia may behave out of character. These behaviours can be difficult to understand and often have different causes.
The later stages of dementia
They may be a sign that a persons need is not being met , or that they are confused or distressed. Often behaviour is a means of communication and can be a result of the person feeling a certain way .
Concerned About A Rash Heres A Simple 6 Step Guide To Managing Dementia And Rashes
4 June 2020
Dementia does not directly cause any rashes, however, it can lead to lifestyles and behaviours that make people with dementia more susceptible to skin irritations and rashes.
For yourself or someone you are caring for, rashes can be cause for concern. While a rash can cause discomfort and distress, often they are easily treated and can be prevented with some simple lifestyle changes. In this article, we go through 6 simple things you can do to try and prevent rashes for someone who has dementia.
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How To Help Prevent Itching And Scratching
If your loved oneâs scratching or picking is related to Alzheimerâs disease, it may help to give them something to do with their hands. Give them a safe object, like a washcloth, busy blanket, or a small, soft squeeze ball. You can also give them something theyâve used as part of their job or a favorite hobby. It may help to trim nails short, cover the area with a gauze bandage, or have them wear long-sleeved shirts that are difficult to roll up or unbutton. They may need to wear gloves, especially at night.
Also help your loved one with hygiene. They should bathe every other day with unscented, gentle soap. Use lotion, creams, or ointments after a bath or shower and as needed to keep skin hydrated. Keep them away from things theyâre allergic to.
If they scratch and pick repeatedly, prescription medications may help. Talk with their doctor for advice.
Being Confused About Time Or Place
Dementia can make it hard to judge the passing of time. People may also forget where they are at any time.
They may find it hard to understand events in the future or the past and may struggle with dates.
Visual information can be challenging for a person with dementia. It can be hard to read, to judge distances, or work out the differences between colors.
Someone who usually drives or cycles may start to find these activities challenging.
A person with dementia may find it hard to engage in conversations.
They may forget what they are saying or what somebody else has said. It can be difficult to enter a conversation.
People may also find their spelling, punctuation, and grammar get worse.
Some peoples handwriting becomes more difficult to read.
A person with dementia may not be able to remember where they leave everyday objects, such as a remote control, important documents, cash, or their keys.
Misplacing possessions can be frustrating and may mean they accuse other people of stealing.
It can be hard for someone with dementia to understand what is fair and reasonable. This may mean they pay too much for things, or become easily sure about buying things they do not need.
Some people with dementia also pay less attention to keeping themselves clean and presentable.
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Early Signs And Symptoms Of Dementia In Men
Written byDevon AndrePublished onApril 12, 2017
Dementia is a term used to describe significant cognitive impairment. These impairments are often seen in two or more critical brain functions such as memory, language, judgment, and reasoning. Deficiencies in these aspects of cognitive ability can significantly affect a persons daily functioning, making them require constant aid.
The most common form of dementia is Alzheimers disease, but there exist multiple forms of dementia that exhibit a varying degree of symptoms and presentations to help differentiate them from each other. Some of these other forms of dementia include vascular dementia, which may be the result of stroke and vasculitis, and frontal lobe dementia, which is relatively rare and thought to be inherited.
Cognitive Changes For Dementia Patients
- Disorientation: A person with dementia becomes lost in familiar places, expresses confusion about the date or time of day, or has difficulty with directions.
- Memory loss: Failure to recognize people and faces, in later stages even family members or close loved ones. Dementia patients can also experience decreases in short term memory, such as asking the same questions repeatedly or forgetting recent events and conversations.
- Problems communicating: Loss of social skills and lack of interest in socializing, frequently forgetting words, or being unable to follow a conversation.
- Difficulty with complex tasks: Difficulty planning or organizing events, paying bills, following recipes, writing letters, or traveling to new locations.
- Difficulty staying focused and concentrating, decreased ability to learn and memorize new information.
- Problems with coordination: Decreased motor functions and coordination, sometimes manifested as trembling, shaking, or difficulty walking.
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Practical Tips On Preventing Perceptual Difficulties And Hallucinations
Ways to avoid visual misperceptions and hallucinations
- Take the person for regular eyesight tests
- If they wear glasses, make sure theyre clean
- Cover mirrors or turn them around to face the wall. People with dementia can misinterpret reflections as other people in the house
- Move other objects that could be mistaken for a person for example, coat stands, dressing gowns or coats hung on doors
- Prevent reflections from windows with blinds or curtains
- Avoid busy patterns on carpets or tiles, and, if possible, try to avoid changes in the levels of the floor, such as from thick carpet to bare floor, which might be difficult for a person with dementia to see
- Make sure rooms are well lit
- Use contrasting colours to help the person with dementia for instance, bright, block colour plates help food stand out brightly coloured towels are easier to see against the wall a vivid coloured toilet seat is easier to see against the backdrop of the bathroom
Ways to avoid auditory misperceptions and hallucinations
- Take the person for regular hearing tests
- If they wear a hearing aid, make sure its cleaned and maintained, and the battery is checked regularly
- Speak slowly and calmly to the person
- Face them when speaking
- Turn off background noise such as the TV and radio when speaking to them
Ways to avoid taste misperceptions and hallucinations
Ways to avoid sense of touch misperceptions and hallucinations
Ways to avoid sense of smell misperceptions and hallucinations