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The three stages of Alzheimers are recognized by signs and symptoms. Unfortunately, it is impossible for doctors to physically diagnose the disease with absolute certainly. The ailment is caused by abnormal clumpsknown as Amyloid Plaquesand tangled bundles of fibersknown as Neurofibrillary Tanglesafflicting the brain tissue and causing it to shrink. The result is three distinct stages that the disease progresses through.
The first stage, known as the very early stage, is the most difficult to accurately diagnose. The symptoms are easily confused with a condition known as Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). MCI is a memory problem condition. Those afflicted with it experience more memory problems than normal for their age. Individuals diagnosed with MCI are often later diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, leading experts to believe that MCI is often misdiagnosed in place of Alzheimer’s.
Of the three stages of Alzheimers the second stage, known as the mild to moderate stage, is when most cases of the disease are diagnosed. During this stage the signs commonly attributed to the ailment are easily recognizable. Individuals experience memory loss and confusion, inability to recognize friends and family, impulsive behavior, hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. The symptoms are the direct result of damaged brain tissue. Damage is caused by the formation of Plaques and Tangles, which continue to form as the disease progresses.
The third stage, known as the severe stage, is the final phase of the ailment. At this time the brain tissue has actually shrunk. Many individuals are completely unable to communicate and depend on others for all of their needs and care. Most individuals are also bedridden until death once the severe stage manifests.
Scientists are not yet sure of the cause of the disease. They do believe that genetics, lifestyle, and environment play a role in when and how a person develops the ailment. By eating a nutritious diet, engaging in physical activity, mentally stimulating pursuits, and social engagement experts believe the risk of cognitive decline and development of the stages of Alzheimers can be reduced. A cure is not yet available, but experts continually try to make advancements toward it.