Contact Long Island Alzheimer’s And Dementia Center For Moderate Stage Alzheimers Help
For 30 years, we’ve helped people suffering from moderate stage Alzheimer’s as well as their caregivers. Throughout our tenure, we’ve learned the value of caregivers finding healthy and supportive outlets in our Caregiver Support Groups facilitated by a licensed Masters level social worker. Within our groups, youll be surrounded by others who truly understand the complex feelings regularly associated with caring for a loved one with moderate stage Alzheimers disease.
To learn more about the services we provide for moderate stage Alzheimer’s, contact Long Island Alzheimer’s and Dementia Center by calling or by completing our online contact form.
1025 Old Country Road, Suite 115Westbury, NY 11590
Early Stage Alzheimer’s Symptoms
In the initial stage of Alzheimers disease, you might still be fairly independent but experience one or more of the following symptoms:2
- having trouble finding the right word for something
- not being able to remember someones name when meeting them
- forgeting information you just read
- misplacing valuable objects
These symptoms are significant enough that those close to you, like family or co-workers, notice that these signs are more serious than typical forgetfulness that comes with aging.
Treatment Of Alzheimers Disease
There is currently no known cure for Alzheimers disease however, there are treatments available to slow progression through the stages of the disease.
Commonly prescribed medications for the treatment of Alzheimers disease include 17:
- Donepezil – Donepezil is used to slow symptom progression in cases of mild, moderate and severe Alzheimers disease.
- Galantamine – Galantamine is prescribed to slow symptoms in cases of mild or moderate Alzheimers.
- Memantine – Memantine is sometimes prescribed in combination with other Alzheimers medications, and can slow symptoms in people with moderate or severe forms of the disease.
- Rivastigmine – Rivastigmine is used to slow symptom progression in mild to moderate cases of Alzheimers disease.
- Memantine extended-release and donepezil – This treatment may be prescribed to patients with moderate to severe Alzheimers disease.
Other treatments for Alzheimers disease include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy , which may help to treat behavioural symptoms and make patients feel more comfortable 18.
Mood and behavioural changes are also sometimes addressed with antidepressant and antianxiety medications.
Moderate exercise may also benefit mood in Alzheimers patients, though people with moderate to severe memory problems should be supervised for this.
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Alzheimers Disease And Gender
Women are significantly more likely to develop Alzheimers than men and and dementia affects twice as many women as men worldwide 21.
1″Alzheimer’s Disease Fact Sheet | National Institute on Aging.” .
2″What is Alzheimer’s Disease? Symptoms ….” .
3″Alzheimer’s Disease: Everything You Need to Know – Healthline.” .
4″Alzheimer’s disease – Causes – NHS.” .
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6″Is Alzheimer’s Hereditary / Genetic? | Alzheimer’s Association.” .
7″Sex and Gender Differences in Alzheimer’s Disease Dementia.” 30 Dec. 2018, .
8″Alzheimer’s Disease in People with Down Syndrome ….” .
9Alzheimer’s: Can a head injury increase my risk? – Mayo Clinic.” .
10″Head injury doubles the risk of Alzheimer’s disease – NCBI.” .
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Signs And Symptoms Of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive condition, which means the symptoms develop gradually over many years and eventually become more severe. It affects multiple brain functions.
The first sign of Alzheimer’s disease is usually minor memory problems.
For example, this could be forgetting about recent conversations or events, and forgetting the names of places and objects.
As the condition develops, memory problems become more severe and further symptoms can develop, such as:
- confusion, disorientation and getting lost in familiar places
- difficulty planning or making decisions
- problems with speech and language
- problems moving around without assistance or performing self-care tasks
- personality changes, such as becoming aggressive, demanding and suspicious of others
- hallucinations and delusions
- low mood or anxiety
Read more about the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
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Can You Prevent Alzheimers Disease
There is no sure way to prevent Alzheimers disease. However, you can reduce the risk of Alzheimers disease by caring for your health:
- your heart whats good for your heart is good for your brain so stick to a healthy diet and dont smoke
- your body regular physical activity increases blood flow to the brain so maintain an active lifestyle
- your mind an active mind helps build brain cells and strengthens their connections so socialise, do things such as puzzles and crosswords, and learn new things, such as a language
The 3 Stages Of Alzheimer’s: What To Expect And What To Do
If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimers disease, you are likely experiencing many different emotions including shock, fear, sadness, and worry. Knowing what to expect and how to plan ahead can provide a sense of control and important peace of mind. Alzheimers disease has three stages: early , middle , and late . Here is what to expect and what to do during each of them.
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Stage : Severe Decline
People with the sixth stage of Alzheimers need constant supervision and frequently require professional care. Symptoms include:
- Confusion or unawareness of environment and surroundings
- Inability to recognize faces except for the closest friends and relatives
- Inability to remember most details of personal history
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Major personality changes and potential behavior problems
- The need for assistance with activities of daily living such as toileting and bathing
The Difference Between Normal Signs Of Aging And Alzheimers
For many people, detecting the first signs of memory problems in themselves or a loved one brings an immediate fear of Alzheimers disease. However, most of us over 65 experience some level of forgetfulness. Occasionally forgetting where you left your glasses, calling your grandson by your sons name, walking into a room and forgetting why, or not quite being able to retrieve information you have on the tip of your tongue, for example, are not considered warning signs of Alzheimers disease.
It is normal for age-related brain shrinkage to produce changes in processing speed, attention, and short-term memory, creating so-called senior moments. For most of us, these occasional lapses in short-term memory are a normal part of the aging process.
The primary difference between the normal signs of aging and Alzheimers disease is that the former doesnt affect your ability to function in daily life. Occasional memory lapses as you get older dont prevent you from doing what you want to do. In Alzheimers disease, however, memory loss becomes so severe that it disrupts your work, hobbies, social activities, and family relationships.
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Which Medicines Are Used To Treat Alzheimers Disease
There is no cure for Alzheimers disease, but available medications temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and help with behavioral problems that may appear during the course of the disease.
Four medications representing two drug classes are currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat the symptoms of Alzheimers disease. These drugs are the cholinesterase inhibitors and a NMDA antagonist.
Cholinesterase inhibitors. The cholinesterase inhibitors are all approved to treat the symptoms of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease . Cholinesterase inhibitors include:
These drugs work by blocking the action of acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme responsible for destroying acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is one of the chemicals that helps nerve cells communicate. Researchers believe that reduced levels of acetylcholine cause some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. By blocking the enzyme, these medications increase the concentration of acetylcholine in the brain. This increase is believed to help improve some memory problems and reduce some of the behavioral symptoms seen in patients with Alzheimers disease.
These medications do not cure Alzheimers disease or stop the progression of the disease. The most common side effects of these drugs are nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Some people may have loss of appetite, insomnia or bad dreams.
Preclinical Stage Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimers disease is caused by harmful changes in the brain that start before any symptoms appear. These changes can begin several years or decades before symptoms become noticeable. This period is referred to as the preclinical stage of Alzheimers disease.
It can be hard to diagnose Alzheimers disease in this stage as the person doesnt have any symptoms. However, imaging scans can detect the presence of a protein called amyloid in the brain. Alzheimers disease is characterized by deposits of amyloid protein in the brain, which interfere with the brains function.
Very Mild Impairment Or Common Forgetfulness
Alzheimers disease mainly affects older adults over the age of 65. At this age, its common to have slight functional difficulties such as forgetfulness.
But for people with stage 2 Alzheimers, this decline will happen more quickly than it will for similarly aged people without Alzheimers. For example, a person may forget familiar words, a family members name, or where they placed something.
Caregiver support: Symptoms at stage 2 wont interfere with work or social activities. Memory troubles are still very mild and may not be apparent to friends and family.
Stage : Age Associated Memory Impairment
This stage features occasional lapses of memory most frequently seen in:
- Forgetting where one has placed an object
- Forgetting names that were once very familiar
Oftentimes, this mild decline in memory is merely normal age-related cognitive decline, but it can also be one of the earliest signs of degenerative dementia. At this stage, signs are still virtually undetectable through clinical testing. Concern for early onset of dementia should arise with respect to other symptoms.
Stage 6 Middle Dementia/moderately Severe Alzheimers Disease
People in this stage are often no longer aware of present events and unable to accurately remember the past. They progressively lose the ability to take care of daily living activities like dressing, toileting, and eating, but are still able to respond to nonverbal stimuli, and communicate pleasure and pain via behavior.
Agitation and hallucinations often show up in the late afternoon or evening. Dramatic personality changes such as wandering or suspicion of family members are common. Many cant remember close family members, but know they are familiar.
Duration: approximately 2.5 years.
Stage 7 Late Or Severe Dementia And Failure To Thrive
In this final stage, speech becomes severely limited, as well as the ability to walk or sit. Total support around the clock is needed for all functions of daily living and care.
Duration: impacted by quality of care, but average length is 1 to 2.5 years.
Caring for someone with Alzheimers
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimers disease can be a long, stressful, and intensely emotional journey. But it can be a rewarding, life-affirming experience as well.
The more you understand about the caregiving role, the better youll be able to prepare for future challenges and cope with the stress and emotional upheaval that comes with each new stage.
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Neurofibrillary Tangles And Senile Plaques
Plaques are dense, mostly insoluble deposits of protein and cellular material outside and around the neurons. Plaques are made of beta-amyloid , a protein fragment snipped from a larger protein called amyloid precursor protein . These fragments clump together and are mixed with other molecules, neurons, and non-nerve cells .
In AD, plaques develop in the hippocampus, a structure deep in the brain that helps to encode memories, and in other areas of the cerebral cortex that are used in thinking and making decisions. Plaques may begin to develop as early as the fifth decade of life. Whether Ab plaques themselves cause AD or whether they are a by-product of the AD process is still unknown. It is known that changes in APP structure can cause a rare, inherited form of AD.
Tangles are insoluble twisted fibers that build up inside the nerve cell. Although many older people develop some plaques and tangles, the brains of people with AD have them to a greater extent, especially in certain regions of the brain that are important in memory. There are likely to be significant age-related differences in the extent to which the presence of plaques and tangles are indicative of the presence of dementia.
SPs also accumulate primarily in association cortices and in the hippocampus. Plaques and tangles have relatively discrete and stereotypical patterns of laminar distribution in the cerebral cortex, which indicate predominant involvement of corticocortical connections.
What Is Alzheimer’sdisease
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that damages the brain. It causes a steady loss of memory and of how well you can speak, think, and do your daily activities.
The disease gets worse over time, but how quickly this happens varies. Some people lose the ability to do daily activities in the first few years. Others may do fairly well until much later in the disease.
Mild memory loss is common in people older than 60. It may not mean that you have Alzheimer’s disease. But if your memory is getting worse, see your doctor. If it is Alzheimer’s, treatment may help.
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Taking Care Of Yourself
- If your doctor gives you medicines, take them exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine. You will get more details on the medicines your doctor prescribes.
- Eat a balanced diet. Get plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables every day. If you are not hungry at mealtimes, eat snacks at midmorning and in the afternoon. Try drinks such as Boost, Ensure, or Sustacal if you are having trouble keeping your weight up.
- Stay active. Exercise such as walking may slow the decline of your mental abilities. Try to stay active mentally too. Read and work crossword puzzles if you enjoy these activities.
- If you have trouble sleeping, do not nap during the day. Get regular exercise . Drink a glass of warm milk or caffeine-free herbal tea before going to bed.
- Ask your doctor about support groups and other resources in your area. They can help people who have Alzheimer’s disease and their families.
- Be patient. You may find that a task takes you longer than it used to.
- If you have not already done so, make a list of advance directives. Advance directives are instructions to your doctor and family members about what kind of care you want if you become unable to speak or express yourself. Talk to a lawyer about making a will, if you do not already have one.
Early Stage/mild Alzheimers Disease
The early stage of Alzheimers typically lasts 2-4 years, and is characterized by mild symptoms that may not be widely apparent 13. The individual is still capable of performing everyday tasks without assistance.
However, they may also experience minor memory lapses that may be noticeable to close friends and family.
Symptoms of early stage Alzheimers disease include:
- Difficulty remembering familiar words or names
- Difficulty remembering new information
- Increasing tendency to wander and get lost
- Personality and behaviour changes
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Is There A Cure
“Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, though the FDA has approved two types of drugs, cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine, to treat symptoms. But these drugs can neither cure Alzheimer’s nor halt its progression. Also, they don’t work for every patient and eventually stop working for all patients,”says Jacob Donoghue, MD, PhD, co-founder of Beacon Biosignals, a neurotechnology company researching precision medicine for brain conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.
Beyond Memory Loss: How To Handle The Other Symptoms Of Alzheimer’s
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.
#TomorrowsDiscoveries: From Dysfunctional Cells to Disease Dr. Rong Li
Dr. Li and her team investigate how cells consolidate their damaged proteins and prevent them from spreading freely, in order to understand how to better treat diseases such as Alzheimers and ALS. Another of their interests is how chromosomes are divided up when one cell becomes two. Learning more about how the process can go wrong could lend insight into cancer development.
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Sexual Differences In Incidence
Some studies have reported a higher risk of AD in women than in men other studies, however, including the Aging, Demographics, and Memory Study, found no difference in risk between men and women. Almost two thirds of Americans with AD are women. Among AD patients overall, any sexual disparity may simply reflect womens higher life expectancy. Among those who are heterozygous for the APOE E4 allele, however, Payami et al found a twofold increased risk in women.
Scales For Rating Dementia
Rather than simply using early stage,middle-stage, and late-stage dementia as descriptors, there are scales that provide a more comprehensive description. These scales help better understand the different stages of Alzheimers disease based on how well a person thinks and functions . These scales are the Global Deterioration Scale for Assessment of Primary Degenerative Dementia, the Functional Assessment Staging Test, and the Clinical Dementia Rating.
Did You Know?
Global Deterioration Scale / Reisberg Scale
The most commonly used scale is often referred to simply as GDS, or by its more formal name, the Reisberg Scale . The GDS divides into seven stages based on the amount of cognitive decline. This test is most relevant for people who have Alzheimers disease because some other types of dementia do not always include memory loss.
Someone in stages 1-3 does not typically exhibit enough symptoms for a dementia diagnosis. By the time a diagnosis has been made, a dementia patient is typically in stage 4 or beyond. Stage 4 is considered early dementia, stages 5 and 6 are considered middle dementia, and stage 7 is considered late dementia.
|Global Deterioration Scale / Reisberg Scale|
Clinical Dementia Rating
|Clinical Dementia Rating Scale|
|Average duration is 1 year to 2.5 years.|
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