, , ,

What to Do When Alzheimer’s Progresses Rapidly

when alzheimers progresses rapidly

What To Do When Alzheimer’s Progresses Rapidly?

Alzheimer’s, a chronic disease that affects mental function and memory is a disease that progresses slowly from one stage to another. Usually, Alzheimer’s follows three main stages and 7 total stages: the mild stage, the middle or moderate stage and the severe or the late stage are the main stages.

The Progression From One Stage To Another

In the mild or early stage, patients function independently even when they may have episodes of memory lapses. The onset symptoms of the disease like remembering names and material read become more evident.

In the middle stage, the dementia (memory loss) symptoms become more pronounced. Patients typically have a harder time performing tasks. This is the longest stage of Alzheimer’s and it can last for many years. It is at this stage that patients also begin to forget about who they are. The damage to the brain’s nerve cells make it even more difficult to express thoughts or perform routine tasks.

The final stage of Alzheimer’s is severe. The dementia symptoms are quite brutal. Patients lose their ability to respond to the environment, to engage in a conversation and to control movement. The memory and cognitive skills worsen and the patients will need round the clock care and assistance.

It is unbearable to see family or friends eventually become incapable of doing anything on their own. But before a patient gets to the final stage of the disease, they spend years in the middle stage where the condition is not so severe. The progression of Alzheimer’s takes time.

But this is not the case for all patients since the speed of the progression varies because of factors like:

  • The patient’s genetic makeup
  • Environmental factors
  • Age of diagnosis
  • Other co-existing medical conditions

What Could Cause Alzheimer’s To Progress So Quickly?

Rapid progression of Alzheimer’s could be because of:

Infections like pneumonia, urinary tract infection or even a sinus infection.

A reaction to prescription medications that the patient may be taking to treat another condition. These medications include anticholinergics, narcotic pain relievers, sedatives, corticosteroids and antidepressants.

  • Lack of enough sleep or body fatigue
  • Changes in the environment and their social life for example moving to a new place or the presence of new medical care staff
  • Vitamin deficiencies especially lack of B-12, thiamin, niacin, folate
  • Depression
  • Thyroid problems like hypothyroidism
  • Existing neurological conditions
  • Autoimmune neurological disorders which contributes to the rapid progression of Alzheimer’s
  • Paraneoplastic disorders which cause a rapid progression of dementia

When an Alzheimer’s patient has any of these conditions, they are very likely to progress from one stage to the other very quickly. When it happens, it is important for the patient to see his or her doctor. The doctor will then be able to diagnose the complicating conditions and factors causing the rapid progression. They will also be able to reverse the progression when it is possible. Lastly, the doctor will ensure that the other causes of rapidly progressing dementia are excluded.

In summary, when Alzheimer’s is progressing rapidly, the patient should see a doctor who will carry out a medical evaluation and determine the exact cause of the progression. Treatment may be required to either reduce or reverse the symptoms.

Pinterest
LinkedIn

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous Post

What to Do When Alzheimer’s Patients Refuse to Eat

Next Post

Are There Any Physical Signs Of Alzheimer's?

Devoted Guardians'
Response to COVID-19

Devoted Guardians is actively monitoring the progression of the coronavirus, COVID-19, to ensure that we have the most accurate and latest information on the threat of the virus. As you know, this situation continues to develop rapidly as new cases are identified in our communities and our protocols will be adjusted as needed.

While most cases of COVID-19 are mild, causing only fever and cough, a very small percentage of cases become severe and may progress particularly in the elderly and people with underlying medical conditions. Because this is the primary population that Devoted Guardians serves, we understand your concerns and want to share with you how our organization is responding to the threat of COVID-19.

We are following updates and procedures from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) State Department of Health, local and county authorities, the Home Care Association of America and other agencies and resources. Our response and plans may adjust according to the recommendations from these organizations.