World Alzheimer’s Day
we find strength
World alzheimer's day is celebrated on September 21st of every year. Alzheimer's disease is one of the most prevalent types of dementia, which impair mental function. Confusion and memory loss are the primary symptoms of this brain disorder, and there is currently no treatment.
History Of The Day
World alzheimer's day, occurring annually on September 21st, was initiated in 1994 by Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) to increase awareness surrounding alzheimer's disease and various dementia types. Its objectives encompass reducing the associated stigma, enlightening the public about the difficulties confronted by individuals with dementia and their caregivers, and advocating for enhanced research and support services. This day serves as a worldwide platform uniting organizations, caregivers, and individuals to collaborate, exchange insights, and strive for a world.
Theme Of World Alzhimer’s Day 2023
The theme of world alzheimer’s day 2023 is, “Never Too Early, Never Too Late,”. This theme highlights not only the importance of identifying risk factors for alzheimer’s disease but also the importance of taking proactive risk reduction actions to prevent and, as far as possible, delay, the development of dementia.
What Is Alzheimer’s Disorder?
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and irreversible brain disorder that gradually damages memory and thinking skills, leading to difficulty carrying out simple tasks. Most people get alzheimer's symptoms for the first time in their mid-60s.
Alzheimer's symptoms vary from person to person. The alzheimer's symptoms differ according to the stage of the disease. Not every alzheimer's disease progresses at the same speed, and they follow a pattern of progression.
What Are The Stages Of Alzheimer's Disease?
The first three stages of Alzheimer's disease are the preclinical stages. The symptoms will not be much prominent and appear similar to aging. Hence the initial phases are unnoticed and overlooked.
Stage 1: No impairment
In the first stage, the person has no symptoms of memory problems. They experience no functional decline or changes in behavior. However, the brain undergoes the earliest phase of alzheimer's disease on a cellular level.
Stage 2: Very mild cognitive decline
Almost everyone aged above 65 will go through some memory problem. The second stage sounds similar to age-related memory problems. People may experience mild issues like the inability to recall names like they used to. They find it difficult to remember where they place things. Symptoms like these are barely noticeable by friends, family and even doctors as many aging people go through such situations. However, a person with Alzheimer's declines in comprehension and functioning more rapidly than other people of similar age.
Stage 3: Mild cognitive decline
Mild cognitive impairment is the stage where friends and coworkers can notice subtle changes in symptoms. The person may ask the same questions repeatedly, their work-life may get disturbed, and the ability to learn new skills may hamper. Many people with mild cognitive impairment may experience intense anxiety, loss of concentration and poor job performance. States of confusion and disorientation are pretty common.
Stage 4: Moderate cognitive decline
Moderate cognitive decline is the stage where a diagnosis of Alzheimer's can be made with better accuracy. The symptoms will be more visible where the person can feel trouble in several areas of their life. In this stage, a person might find it hard to do typical tasks like managing finances, planning menus for guests, writing the correct date or amount on a check. They withdraw themselves and become moody. While they may have trouble recalling the date and month, they may still be able to remember their address. This happens when the damage has spread to the parts of the brain responsible for language, reasoning and processing.
Stage 5: Moderately severe cognitive decline
In stage 5, individuals will need assistance in doing their routine activities. They have trouble choosing the right outfit for the occasion, and some of them wear the same clothes until someone reminds them to change. This stage lasts for an average of 1.5 years. In this stage, behavioural problems like anger and suspicions are common. The person experiencing symptoms of this stage may not be able to manage themselves and require a caretaker.
Stage 6: Severe cognitive decline
This stage has five subdivisions: Stage 6a, 6b, 6c, 6d, and 6e. In this stage, the memory continues to decline with significant personality changes. The person requires help for everyday activities like dressing up. Individuals tend to lose their awareness of recent experiences. They may remember their names but forget others' names. They have major trouble controlling the urge to urinate, erratic sleep patterns, and stuttering while speaking.
Stage 6, starting from 6a to 6e, lasts for about 2.5 years. The substages begin with symptoms like difficulty wearing clothes without assistance, inability to take a bath, inability to comprehend hygiene where the person needs help to use the toilet. Towards the end of this stage, the person loses control over urination and passing stools (incontinence). Stuttering, pausing, and the inability to articulate words become more common.
Stage 7: Very severe cognitive decline
The very final stage of the disease is where a severe decline in functioning occurs. Individuals completely lose their ability to respond, carry out a conversation and control their movement. They may manage to say a few words and phrases. They require support for everything, including sitting, eating and going to the bathroom. Their muscles become more rigid, reflexes become more abnormal, and swallowing becomes extremely difficult.
This world alzheimer’s day 2023 raises public awareness regarding alzheimer's disease and its stages. If your loved one or anyone you know shows signs of alzheimer's, it is advisable to contact a physician immediately. Alzheimer's affects about 50 million people, and it is estimated that the prevalence of dementia is expected to increase threefold by 2050. Let’s get awareness on the seven stages of alzheimer's disease on this special day. Also, contact a support group to gather maximum information about treatment approaches, services, and caretaking.
For a world without Alzheimer's