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How to detect alzheimers dementia?

The Alzheimer dementia involve memory, language functions and visuospatial functions.
The cognitive changes seen in AD usually follow a characteristic pattern .
Usually it first affect the memory then spreads to involve language and visuospatial functions.

Memory problems

  1. In approximately 20% of AD patients present with non memory complaints are the presenting features such as word-finding, organizational, or navigational difficulty.
  2. Some times In the early stages of the disease, the memory impairment may go unrecognized.
  3. The disease is defined as MCI, as it begins to affect day-to-day activities or falls below 1.5 standard deviations from normal on standardized memory tasks, 
  4. Approximately 50% of MCI individuals usually  progress to AD within the next 5 years
  5. Some patients with AD are unaware of these difficulties (it is called as anosognosia), while some people have considerable insight.
  6. Change of environment may be bewildering.
  7. In the middle stages of AD, the patient is not able to carry out routine  work, is easily lost and confused, and these people requires daily supervision
  8. In these people it is interesting to note that social graces, routine behavior, and superficial conversation may be surprisingly intact.
Language disturbances

  1. The sequence of language impairment is as follows - first naming, then comprehension, and finally fluency.
  2. Word finding difficulties and circumlocution arise.
Apraxia ,visuospatial deficits

  1. As a result of visuospatial deficits there is difficulty with dressing, eating, solving simple puzzles, and copying geometric figures.
  2. In the later stages of the AD disease, loss of judgment, reason, and cognitive abilities is seen.
  3. Delusions are common in this disease
  4. Loss of inhibitions and aggression may occur sometime and they alternate with passivity and withdrawal.
  5. Sleep-wake patterns of these people are disrupted.
  6. In end-stage AD, patients become rigid, mute, incontinent, and bedridden.
  7. Myoclonic jerks are also observed in AD .
  8. The cause of death may results from malnutrition, secondary infections, heart disease or pulmonary emboli.