My previous post, October 18, provided comforting information regarding the difference between normal forgetfulness and dementia, provided by the Alzheimer's Association many years ago. This post continues with the phases and symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease, once again presented in the font as it was originally published.
ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE -- PHASES AND SYMPTOMS
Often this phase is deceitful, and no one is sure anything is wrong.
- Less spontaneous, less sparkle
- Slower, less energy, less drive, less initiative
- Less discriminating
- Loss of words
- Slower to learn, slower to react
- Readily made angry
- Seeks and prefers the family, shuns the unfamiliar
The patient will still be functioning in many ways, but may require help in some activities such as balancing a check book.
- Much slower in speech and understanding
- Great difficulty in making decisions and plans
- Inability to calculate
- Increasingly self-absorbed
- Insensitive to feelings of others
- Avoids situations that may lead to failure
- Loses the thread of a story
The patient is now obviously disabled.
- Markedly changed behavior
- Uncertain as to how he or she is expected to act
- Directions need to be repeated
- Memory of recent past poor or failing
- Memory of distant past astonishingly clear
- Loses orientation to time and place
- Invents words
- Misidentifies people
- Little warmth
Help is needed with simple activities of living in this phase.
- Poor remote or recent memory
- Cannot find the way around at all
- Perseveration of phrases and syllables
- No recognition of individuals
Progression of mental and physical deterioration may be rapid or may proceed slowly over a number of years.
Hopefully this information will help you distinguish between normal aging and possible illness. Uncovering this material, given to us long ago, will be of help to Dave and I. We have just learned that recent medical discovery is recognizing past traumatic brain injuries can, or seem to, lead to early on-set Alzheimer's.
Some time ago I posted our experience, 15 years ago, of our youngest son's traumatic brain injury. In it I begged you to wear, and make sure your kids wear, helmets when engaging in activities calling for them. Please read, or reread, it.
While Brin's recovery was miraculous this new information indicates it may not be lasting.