The major irreversible causes of dementia include DAT, vascular dementia , central nervous system (CNS) trauma, Parkinson’s disease, Pick’s disease and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Rarer irreversible causes include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and Huntington’s disease.
Symptoms can sometimes develop suddenly and quickly get worse, but they can also develop gradually over many months or years.
Vascular dementia causes problems with mental abilities and several other difficulties. The symptoms can start suddenly or gradually. They tend to get worse over time, although treatment can help slow this down.
Alzheimer’s disease – This is the most common cause of dementia . In Alzheimer’s disease , an abnormal protein surrounds brain cells and another protein damages their internal structure. In time, chemical connections between brain cells are lost and cells begin to die.
Resiberg’s system: Stage 1: No Impairment. During this stage, Alzheimer’s is not detectable and no memory problems or other symptoms of dementia are evident. Stage 2: Very Mild Decline . Stage 3: Mild Decline . Stage 4: Moderate Decline . Stage 5 : Moderately Severe Decline . Stage 6: Severe Decline . Stages 7: Very Severe Decline .
Rapidly progressive dementias (RPDs) are dementias that progress quickly , typically over the course of weeks to months, but sometimes up to two to three years. RPDs are rare and often difficult to diagnose. Early and accurate diagnosis is very important because many causes of RPDs can be treated.
During the middle stages of Alzheimer’s , it becomes necessary to provide 24 – hour supervision to keep the person with dementia safe. As the disease progresses into the late-stages, around-the-clock care requirements become more intensive.
Late-stage Alzheimer’s (severe) In the final stage of the disease, dementia symptoms are severe. Individuals lose the ability to respond to their environment, to carry on a conversation and, eventually, to control movement. They may still say words or phrases, but communicating pain becomes difficult.
It typically peaks in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s, and then diminishes as the disease progresses. Scientists don’t completely understand why sleep disturbances occur with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia .
Depression . The symptoms of depression are often mistaken for dementia. It is not easy to define the symptoms because many people with dementia develop signs of depression , such as feelings of low self-esteem and confidence, tearfulness and appetite, concentration and memory problems .
Depression. Thyroid problems, such as hypothyroidism. Additional neurological conditions. Autoimmune neurological disorders and paraneoplastic disorders, which are conditions that can cause rapidly progressive dementia .
Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR)
|Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) Scale|
|Stage||Expected Duration of Stage|
|CDR-1||Average duration is 2 years .|
|CDR-2||Average duration is just under 2 years to 4 years .|
|CDR-3||Average duration is 1 year to 2.5 years .|
10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Memory loss that disrupts daily life. Challenges in planning or solving problems. Difficulty completing familiar tasks. Confusion with time or place. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships. New problems with words in speaking or writing.
“The development of this list has sometimes been taken the wrong way by family care partners. Don’t say ‘but you don’t look or sound like you have dementia ‘. Don’t tell us ‘ we are wrong’. Don’t argue with us or correct trivial things. Don’t say ‘remember when…’.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form, affecting 62 % of those living with dementia . It gets worse with time and eventually people are left completely dependent on carers.