Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
About Alzheimers Disease: Symptoms
When it comes to addressing the symptoms of Alzheimers disease, typically there are two different categories that symptoms can be categorized into: cognitive symptoms and psychiatric symptoms. It is important to understand the difference between these types of symptoms and important to classify these types of symptoms so that you know how to effectively treat these symptoms. For example, behavior problems that are caused by cognitive issues need to be treated in one manner while those that are caused from psychotic issues will need to be treated by anti-anxiety medication.
Cognitive Symptoms of Alzheimers Disease
Cognitive or intellectual symptoms, also known as the 4 As of Alzheimers disease are some of the most common types of Alzheimers symptoms. These four As are amnesia, aphasia, apraxia and agnosia.
- Amnesia- Amnesia, or the loss of memory, is one of the most common and noticeable symptoms of Alzheimers disease. Amnesia can impact both short-term and long term memories. Typically with dementia or Alzheimers disease short term memory is the first to be impacted.
- Aphasia- This is also known as the inability to communicate effectively; or the loss of ability to speak or write. Typically, individuals may be unable to understand words or grammar but they may be able to understand non-verbal behaviors.
- Apraxia- Apraxia is the inability to perform pre-programmed motor tasks or perform basic daily tasks. This can be anything from brushing your teeth to chewing or swallowing.
- Agnosia- The inability to interpret signals from the five senses. This can also be the inability to correctly interpret visceral or internal information such as a full bladder.
Psychiatric Symptoms of Alzheimers Disease
Changes in personality, depression, hallucinations, delusions and other related symptoms are all typically classified as psychiatric symptoms of Alzheimers. Personality changes are often some of the most noticeable changes in terms of psychiatric symptoms of Alzheimers disease.
Some of the most terrifying psychiatric symptoms of Alzheimers disease are delusions and hallucinations. Many times these hallucinations will take place in the middle stage of the disease. These can be quite frightening not only for the individual with dementia but for their friends and family as well. Typically individuals will react with fear, agitation, aggression, or verbal outbursts when they are dealing with hallucinations. If these hallucinations or delusions are serious, then many times medications can be prescribed to help control these issues.