Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease
Synonyms in the broader sense
Alzheimer's disease, dementia, Alzheimer's dementia
Symptoms of Alzheimer's
The first symptoms are often uncharacteristic headaches, unsystematic dizziness and general poor performance. No diagnosis can be made at this stage.
In the early stages they express themselves Alzheimer's symptoms often due to a depressed mood, insomnia, Restlessness, fear and states of excitement. In addition, the sick often appear impotent and listless, withdraw socially and are less careful, so that it cannot always be easy to identify the clinical picture at this stage in relation to one depression to delimit. Over the course of a year, Alzheimer's symptoms gradually increase in forgetfulness, especially the function of the Short term memory is affected relatively early in the course of the disease. The vocabulary of those affected is limited, Word finding disorders occur and patients find it difficult to orientate themselves in less familiar surroundings.
Fatigue, a lack of concentration and difficulty reading and arithmetic also appear as additional Alzheimer's symptoms.
In the further course, the failure symptoms increase, the patients do not recognize familiar people and surroundings, the ability to speak decreases and the patients forget simple skills and are no longer able to do their job or run the household. Personality, external attitude and emotional reactions, on the other hand, are retained for a long time, so that the "facade" can be maintained for a long time.
For general information see also: The dementia
more Alzheimer's symptoms
More neuropsychological Alzheimer's symptoms are a disorder of the language (aphasia), a disturbance in the execution of voluntary movements (Apraxia) and spatial orientation disorders, so that patients are usually not fully oriented in terms of location and time, only rarely personally, during the examination. The perception and change from one topic to another is also considerably reduced and slowed down. Patients perseverate strongly, i.e., they stubbornly stick to a conceptual content, sometimes even to a word.
The language used in patients' Alzheimer's symptoms becomes increasingly impoverished up to certain forms of decay: Repetition of phrases or words. This results in automatic or reflex repetition of words or sentences that the patient has heard (Echolalia), words newly introduced into linguistic usage (Neologisms) to gibberish, i.e. a confused way of speaking, and finally to rhythmic, senseless repetition of individual syllables (Logo clony). This last remnant of the ability to speak is also lost at some point and the patients sometimes only make silent, rhythmic movements of the Speech muscles out. However, the sick person loses not only the ability to speak but also the understanding of language after a long period of illness.
A similar pattern can also be seen in the voluntary movements (Motor skills) of patients: They lead stereotypical in the terminal stages Swiping movements, Pluck, Nibbling, Rub, Pendulum movements of the head and similar movements.
Non-cognitive changes are more often less taken into account, although they can be treated better than the cognitive ones. The accompanying psychological symptoms occur in up to 70% of all sick people. This includes the one already mentioned depressed mood lack of drive and indifference (apathy), as well as restlessness with wandering, shouting and screaming and sleep disorders with frequent waking. Delusions and (optical) Hallucinations occur in around 10-17% of patients. Aggression towards the caregiver is also not uncommon. This behavior can partly be explained by incorrect perception and incorrect interpretation, which are favored by the memory disorder. But above all this decline in personality is a great burden for relatives.
The neurological status of most Alzheimer's patients is normal at the onset of the disease. The first neurological Alzheimer's symptoms are increased Muscle reflexes. In addition, a slowdown in movements (Bradykinesia) and an increased Muscle tension (Muscle tone) occur. Rapid involuntary muscle twitches (Myoclonia) and occasional seizures occur in every 5th to 10th patient, and half of all patients lose control about six years after the onset of the disease urine and chair, so become incontinent.
In the final stage of the disease, the patients are bedridden, completely dependent on outside help and unable to communicate with those around them.