As we age, everything changes. Our bodies change, as do our brains. In the early years of our development, our brains constantly evolve to process new information, but at a certain point in time, they begin to experience regressive effects. Some people experience this in a more severe manner than others; this can become the early stages of Alzheimer’s.
Preclinical Stage & Mild Early Stage
Alzheimer’s has several stages. First is the preclinical stage, where changes in the brain are occurring but go unnoticed. This stage can last for years before it progresses to the next stage. In the mild early stage of Alzheimer’s, people forget some conversations, and they may find it difficult to evaluate the correct amount of time needed to complete tasks. Typically, people are still able to function independently during this stage.
Once someone enters the middle/moderate stages of Alzheimer’s, independent living becomes more difficult. During this stage, the most profound, noticeable change is the brain’s inability to process new information. Planning events and remembering them becomes a challenge. Patients may experience difficulty remembering people’s names, and they may even struggle to remember their own.
During this stage, a person may lose their ability to control physical capabilities such as walking, eating, and controlling their bowels. They need help with all tasks. People with late-stage Alzheimer’s are unaware of their surroundings, and they struggle to hold conversations.
What are the most common signs of Alzheimer’s?
- Lack of energy
- Reduced desire to participate in social engagement, work, and leisurely activities, and a more profound interest in sitting and resting
- Changes in emotional state and signs of depression
- Issues with balance and coordination
- Memory loss
- Difficulty forming words and thoughts