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Autism Is There A Cure In Sight

(category: Disease-Illness, Word count: 515)
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Autism: What causes it, and can it be cured?

Autism is a disorder that is affecting more and more children. But many autistic children have been able to lead normal lives.

Autism is a developmental disorder that appears in the early stages of development of a child, mostly in the first three years of development. It is a neurological disorder that affects the proper functioning of the brain and affects the development of the social and communication skills of the individual.

Early diagnosis of autism is most important for the treatment of this disorder. However, there is no blood or medical test available which will help in the diagnosis of autism. Generally, it is delay in the development of language skills or lack of appropriate social development that causes parents or teachers to seek a medical evaluation. There are no racial or ethnic specifications for the occurrence of this disorder, although boys are three or four times more likely to have autism.

Autism is seen to affect each individual in different levels and so is considered a spectrum disorder. Generally, autism is seen to affect the verbal and non-verbal communication skills, leisure activities, and the all-round social interactions of the individual.

There is no standard treatment for the cure of autism. Different medical professionals have different philosophies and practices for treating autistic individuals. The results of the treatment of autism will also vary from individual to individual. However, autism cannot be completely cured; there can only be improvements in the abilities of the autistic person. Autistic children are seen to benefit greatly from treatment approaches that include special education and behavioral management.

An important strategy in the treatment of autism is to keep the diet of the autistic children gluten- and casein-free. A gluten- and casein-free autism diet is seen to produce a marked level of improvement in autistic children. This is because in their body system there is incomplete breakdown of the peptides in the food substances containing gluten and casein. This leads to an increased absorption of peptides causing disruption in the biochemical and neuroregulatory processes in the brain. Adding vitamin B6 and B12 to the diet is beneficial to the treatment of autism as it improves digestion, symptoms of allergy, and sociability in children.

Despite one child in every thousand being affected by this illness, the awareness and the number of support groups for this illness is negligible. Efforts are being undertaken to create an increased awareness and to generate funds to support research and treatment of autism.

Autism awareness bracelets and ribbons help spread awareness about this disorder. The sale of these bracelets supports many autism research foundations and also provides financial assistance to many parents with autistic children.

'Autism walk' is another novel fundraising effort for the support of those suffering from autism. The money generated from registration of the 'Autism walk' events is used to provide financial support to the parents of autistic children, or to establish support groups to facilitate their treatment.

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What You Should Know About Celiac Disease

(category: Disease-Illness, Word count: 317)
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Celiac disease is a digestive disorder caused by the by consumption of gluten, a protein commonly found in many grains, especially wheat, barley & rye. Therefore, those products containing these grains MUST be avoided by those diagnosed with celiac disease. Among those products to be especially mindful of are: bread, pasta, cookies, pizza crust and other foods containing wheat, barley or rye. Oats may contain gluten as well, but this is currently in dispute due to the fact that SOME seem to be able to digest oats without consequence. It is important that you followed your doctor's advice in this matter. When a person with celiac disease eats foods containing gluten, an immune reaction occurs in the small intestine, resulting in damage to the surface of the small intestine and an inability to absorb certain nutrients from food.

Eventually, decreased absorption of nutrients (malabsorption) can cause vitamin deficiencies that deprive your brain, peripheral nervous system, bones, liver and other organs of vital nourishment, which can lead to other illnesses. This is especially serious in children, who need proper nutrition to develop and grow. Many who suffer celiac disease also develop related vitamin and mineral defeciency related dieases.

Also known as celiac sprue, celiac disease occurs in people who have a susceptibility to gluten intolerance. Although celiac disease affects people of all races, it is most prevalent in those of white European ancestry. It also affects women to a greater extent than me. Celiac disease has been around as long as man has eaten wheat and other grains containing the protein, but it has only been in the last 50 years that researchers have gained a better understanding of the condition and how to treat it.

No treatment can cure celiac disease. However, you can effectively manage celiac disease through the elimination of gluten products from your diet.

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National Free Screening For Vascular Disease

(category: Disease-Illness, Word count: 357)
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A national screening program could help save thousands of lives by diagnosing-and bringing attention to-one of the most undertreated health care concerns for older Americans.

Millions of Americans may have vascular disease without even knowing it, according to the American Vascular Association (AVA). Vascular disease outside the heart kills and cripples tens of thousands of Americans every year despite widely available noninvasive procedures to detect its most common forms: abdominal aortic aneurysm, peripheral arterial disease and carotid artery disease.

(*) Strokes due to carotid artery disease are the number one cause of disability in this country and the third leading cause of death.

(*) Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA), which affect 15,000 Americans each year, can be permanently cured when diagnosed early, but rupture is fatal in most cases. Congress recently passed legislation for select Medicare patients to undergo an AAA screening. The covered patient population includes men age 65 and over who have smoked more than 100 cigarettes in their lives, plus women with a family history of AAA.

(*) Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) may cause crippling leg problems and indicate an increased risk for stroke.

Certain conditions are associated with a higher risk of vascular disease, including hypertension, high blood cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, family history of vascular disease, previous heart or leg problem treatments and prior stroke.

AVA's 2006 National Screening Program will be held May 13 to 20 in more than 250 cities across the country. The free tests for vascular disease are noninvasive, painless and simple. It is recommended that anyone over 55 with risk factors undergo a screening.

AVA created the National Screening Program in an effort to educate the public about major vascular problems, risk factors, prevention and treatment options. Each patient leaves the screening with a copy of his or her Vascular Report Card, completed on-site by a vascular specialist.

"Our national screening program will enable participants to know definitively their level of vascular health," said Dr. William R. Flinn, Vice Chairman of AVA. "Early detection of vascular disease has great value and can significantly reduce the risk of disability and death."

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Avian Influenza Bird Flu Faq

(category: Disease-Illness, Word count: 1875)
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As more and more cases of bird flu are reported, the world faces an immediate threat of a deadly pandemic. Pandemics (Global Disease Outbreaks) are known to be like flash floods. They start abruptly, spread fast and cause a lot of damage all over the world.

A few facts that everyone should know:

What is Avian Influenza?

As the name suggests, avian influenza refers to the infection caused by avian (bird) influenza (flu) viruses. These viruses are commonly found in intestines of wild birds and these birds can carry the viruses without getting sick. However the viruses can be pathogenic to domesticated birds like chickens, ducks and turkeys. Domesticated birds become infected through exposure to other birds or through surfaces contaminated by secretions and faeces of the infected birds.

These viruses are classified as Low Pathogenicity and High Pathogenicity. Most strains of Avian Influenza come under Low Pathogenicity Avian Influenza (LPAI) Group and produce mild symptoms in the infected birds. Common symptoms are ruffled feathers, decreased food appetite, decreased egg production, sneezing and coughing. Many times LPAI may go undetected.

High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza (HPAI) has more severe symptoms which include sudden death, loss of energy and appetite, decreased egg production, respiratory problems, facial oedema (swelling), poorly formed eggs and diarrhoea. HPAI can reach a mortality rate of nearly 100%.

What Is H5N1 strain of Bird Flu?

All flu viruses are classified as type A, B or C depending on their structural arrangement. Type A is responsible for lethal pandemics and is found in both animals and humans. Type B causes local outbreaks of flu. Type C is the most stable of the three and infected people show only mild symptoms of flu. Type B and C are usually found only in humans. Type B and C are more stable than type A and are not classified according to their subtypes.

Influenza viruses of type A are divided into subtypes and the naming is done on the basis of two proteins (antigens) found on their surface - Hemagglutinin (HA) and Neuraminidase (NA). Sixteen types of HA and nine types of NA exist. Thus a total 144 combinations are possible.

Thus H5N1 is a type A virus and gets its name from HA 5 protein and NA 1 protein present on its surface.

How Do Type A Viruses Cause A Pandemic?

Type A viruses are further classified into strains. These strains can continuously evolve into different strains. Their ability to exchange genetic material with other viruses and create new influenza viruses makes them unpredictable and difficult to fight with. Humans have to develop new immunity (antibodies) every time new strains are created.

Viruses cannot repair genetic damage, small changes known as "Antigen Drift", are continuously creating new strains of viruses. However when genetic material from Type A viruses from different species - say a bird and a human, comes together and merges, an entirely new strain is created. This is known as "Antigen Shift" Humans have no immunity to such a strain and the strain can spread rapidly causing a Pandemic.

How Is The Virus Transmitted To Humans From Birds?

Usually Avian Influenza viruses do not infect humans. Migratory birds act as carriers of these viruses and do not get affected by them. These birds then come in contact with domesticated birds such as chickens and turkeys and spread the infection to them. Domesticated birds may get the virus from contact with contaminated surfaces too. Once a virus infects domesticated birds, it can cause severe epidemic among the birds. Humans come in contact with infected birds or contaminated surfaces and pick up the virus.

In the human body, this avian flu virus then undergoes an antigenic shift, combines with genetic material of a human strain of influenza virus and creates an entirely new strain of virus against which humans have little or no immunity. These genetic reassortments may also take place is the body of a third species (susceptible to both avian and human viruses) like the pig, where an avian influenza A virus and human influenza virus mix their genetic information and produce a new virus which might be able to infect humans.

Why is H5N1 dangerous?

The first reported cases of H5N1 infections were detected in geese in 1997 in Southern China. A total of 18 human infections were reported and six of them succumbed to it. The infection spread quickly to poultry in Hong Kong. At that time a million and half chickens were culled in Hong Kong to keep the virus under control. The virus disappeared for a few years, but resurfaced in 2002 in Hong Kong again. Since then it has killed millions of birds in Asia and many cases of human infections have been reported.

The persistence of this H5N1 strain of virus is a great concern for humans. Although the virus does not spread from birds to humans easily, the severity of the infection of H5N1 in humans is frightening. The virus has killed every second person infected by it. These cases were reported in perfectly healthy individuals who had no past history of infections. However the greater concern for the world is the POSSIBILITY THAT THE VIRUS MAY MUTATE (UNDERGO ANTIGENIC SHIFT) AND CREATE A FORM THAT MAY SPREAD FROM HUMAN TO HUMAN. Such a strain of virus may result in a pandemic, killing millions of people worldwide.

Is Consumption Of Poultry Birds Safe?

Yes, it is safe to consume THOROUGHLY COOKED poultry products. The H5N1 virus is sensitive to heat and gets destroyed by normal cooking temperatures of 70- 100 degree Celsius. If meat from poultry birds and eggs are cooked properly, the virus will be destroyed. Just make sure that no part of the meat remains raw or uncooked.

How Big Is The Risk Of A Pandemic Breaking Out?

The world had to face a Bird Flu Pandemic, thrice in the twentieth century. In 1918-1919, "Spanish Flu" killed anywhere between 20 million to 50 million people (exact figures not known), including half a million in the United States alone. The "Asian flu" in 1957-58 killed 70,000 in the United States and in 1968-1969, the "Hong Kong flu" killed 34,000 in the USA.

Currently the risk of H5N1 strain leading to a Pandemic is high. The virus is spreading fast to new areas and the efforts made to curtail it have proved inadequate.

Domestic ducks have now become a "reservoir" for the virus. They are acting like a carrier for the virus - their bodies carry the virus without showing signs of any infection. Infected ducks then release large quantities of the virus in pathogenic form in their excretions spreading the virus to other birds or humans. This has made detection of the virus difficult especially in rural areas.

According to health experts, the virus has already met the first two prerequisites for starting a pandemic. First it has attained a form, for which humans have no inbuilt immunity; and second, it has proved pathogenic enough to cause serious illness and death in humans.

The present risk of a pandemic is very high. The only factor that has prevented a pandemic so far is that the virus has not mutated into a form that would allow it to transmit efficiently from one human to another. Once such a genetic change takes place for the virus, a pandemic will be inevitable. The first signs of such a reassortment will be presence of the clusters of patients with flu symptoms, closely related - both in time and space. This would be a clear indication of virus having the ability to transmit from human-to-human.

Currently no vaccine has been developed for fighting H5N1 strain. Simultaneous work is being done in many countries for developing a vaccine, but no success has been achieved. The exact virus that may cause the pandemic cannot be predetermined. Thus mass production of vaccine before the pandemic starts is ruled out. The worldwide manufacturing capacity is inadequate to match the sudden demand surge during a pandemic. The best that scientists can do is to carry out a study and determine the smallest amount of antigen per dose that will provide sufficient protection and thus maximise the number of vaccines produced.

What Are The Precautions Necessary To Prevent A Pandemic?

The logical first step is to control the disease from spreading among birds, but this seems a difficult task now. Bird Flu has become a bird epidemic in many parts of Asia and is spreading fast.

The Next step is to prevent the disease from getting passed on to humans. People who come in close contact with birds (like poultry farmers) are advised to keep a close watch on the health of birds, notify any sort of sickness in birds to the health authorities and avoid direct contact with sick birds in all cases. (Ducks have become a reservoir for the virus and may not exhibit signs of sickness even if they are carrying the virus.)

In case the flu becomes a pandemic, most countries of the world will be affected. In such a scenario, the best preventive measures would be personal hygiene, avoiding crowded places and staying away from raw meat and eggs.

A flu shot does not prevent bird flu, but it can protect a person from other forms of flu and avoid complications. Persons above 65 years of age, children, health services workers, people with chronic respiratory disorders, travellers to flu affected countries and pregnant women may consult a doctor regarding flu vaccination.

What Are The Symptoms In Humans and Treatment Options For Bird Flu?

A person infected by bird flu may have all symptoms of common flu like fever, persistent cough, sore throat and body ache. Moreover, there is a high risk of complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, eye and ear infections and severe breathing problems.

Presently four drugs are used to combat influenza.

The most effective drugs known for seasonal flu are Oseltamivir (commercial name Tamiflu) and Zanamavir (Commercial name Relenza). Both of these are known to reduce severity and duration of seasonal flu, but they may prove ineffective if the virus is allowed to stay in the body for too long. Health professionals advise that TREATMENT OF FLU WITH THESE DRUGS SHOULD START WITHIN 48 HOURS OF FIRST APPEARANCE FLU SYMPTOMS.

Oseltamivir and Zanamavir fall in the Neuraminidase inhibitors class. The surface protein Neuraminidase breaks bonds between new viruses and infected cells. By blocking the activity of Neuraminidase, these two drugs prevent the new viruses from being released.

Another class of drugs - the M2 inhibitors is also available, but viruses develop resistance to these drugs quickly and thus these drugs may prove ineffective in controlling pandemics. Amantadine and Rimantadine are two drugs from this class. These drugs inhibit the activity of M2 protein, which forms a channel in membranes of viruses and thereby preventing the viruses from replicating.

One should consult a doctor before taking any of these drugs as THESE DRUGS ARE KNOWN TO HAVE SIDE EFFECTS IN SOME CASES. For example, Zanamavir is not recommended to people having chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma.

(This article was written on 25th January 2006 and may not contain developments that took place after this date.)

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Mental Illness Getting Our Minds Around The Facts

(category: Disease-Illness, Word count: 303)
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A recent survey by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) found that many people know little or almost nothing about the warning signs, causes and effective treatments for mental illnesses-even though in any given year, one in five Americans suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder.

Each year, more people suffer from a mental illness than from cancer and diabetes combined.

Research shows that mental illnesses are caused by genetic and environmental factors, traumatic events and other physical illnesses and injuries.

Yet one-third of Americans mistakenly believe emotional or personal weakness is a major cause of common mental illnesses and almost as many think old age is a major cause. As a result, many Americans may not get the help they need.

Mental illnesses are real and treatable. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the rate of successful treatment for depression (70 to 80 percent) is much higher than the rate for other chronic illnesses such as heart disease (45 to 50 percent).

Change in personality. Inability to cope with problems and daily activities. Marked changes in eating or sleeping patterns. Extreme highs and lows. These are just some of the warning signs of a mental illness, such as depression or anxiety disorder.

Only 47 percent of those surveyed felt well equipped to understand and identify the basic warning signs of a common mental illness, such as depression, anxiety disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder.

The great majority-84 percent-said they would like to know more about how to identify these warning signs.

By learning more, you may be able to help someone you know who may be suffering from a mental illness lead a healthier, happier life.

Twenty percent of Americans suffer from a diagnosable mental illness every year. Can you recognize the warning signs?

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Aids Hiv Information

(category: Disease-Illness, Word count: 733)
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AIDS is an acronym for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome it causes a destruction of the immune system. It is the most advanced stage of the HIV virus (HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus). AIDS is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the presence of a positive HIV antibody test and one or more of the illnesses known as opportunistic infections.

The HIV virus, type 1 or 2 is widely known to be the cause of AIDS. HIV breaks down and attacks your T cells so your body is unable to defend itself against different infections. The HIV virus also attacks your peripheral nervous system, this causes nerve and muscle pain, especially in the feet, legs, and hands.

HIV is spread through direct contact with semen or blood of an individual that is infected. This can be transferred in many ways the most common is unprotected sexual intercourse. Other means of infection are infected blood transfusions, mother to infant (at time of birth, or through breast milk), sharing needles with an infected person, and rarely a healthcare worker that gets pricked with an infected needle.

Often people who are infected with HIV have few symptoms and in some cases there are none. Other times, symptoms of HIV are confused with other illnesses such as the flu. This may be severe, with swollen glands in the neck and armpits, tiredness, fever and night sweats. This is where as much as 9 out of 10 of the infected individuals will develop AIDS. At this point the person may feel completely healthy and not even know that he/she has the virus. The next stage begins when the immune system starts to break down and the virus becomes more aggressive in damaging white cells. Several glands in the neck and armpits may swell and stay swollen for an extended period of time without any explanation. As this disease progresses boils or warts may spread over the body. They may also feel tremendously tired, night sweats, high fevers, chronic diarrhea, and they may lose a considerable amount of their body weight. Most cases have shown thrush as a symptom as well. At this point the person is in the final stages of HIV-AIDS. Severe chest infections with high fever are common and survival rate is above 70% but decrease with each recurrence.

A person is diagnosed with AIDS when he/she has one or more positive HIV screening and the presence of an AIDS defining condition. Some of the common conditions include but are not limited to: Meningitis, Encephalitis, Dementia, Pneumonia, Kaposi sarcoma, and Lymphoma. There is also a blood test called an Immune Profile that can be done. This test is used to measure the loss of immunity and help decide on the best treatment. There is a test that is rarely used due to its high cost, it is known as a Viral Load: This test detects the virus itself, and also measures the amount of HIV in the blood. It shows how quickly the HIV infection is likely to advance. A high viral load suggests that the person may progress rapidly to AIDS.

Although there is no cure for AIDS there are medical treatments that aide in prolonging, and maintaining the best quality of life possible. These include two nucleoside inhibitors, lamivudine and zidovudine. Actual treatment plans will vary with each patient, along with the physical aspect of this disease. The psychological side has to be addressed in order for a treatment plan to be effective.

The easiest way to escape contracting this disease is to avoid the risk factors that you are in control of. Such as: unprotected sex, not sharing a needle, and if you are in the healthcare field be sure to use all precautions necessary to avoid an accidental prick from a possible infected needle (remember that in this diseases early stages it is common for the person not to even know they are infected). Today AIDS is the fifth leading cause of death among all adults aged 25 to 44 in the United States. Among African-Americans in the 25 to 44 age group, AIDS is the leading cause of death for men and the second leading cause of death for women. Our society needs to become aware that by not protecting ourselves we are killing ourselves and that this has to stop.

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Common S T D Symptoms And Treatment For Chlamydia Herpes And Hepatitis

(category: Disease-Illness, Word count: 434)
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Disease like Chlamydia, Herpes and Hepatitis are a growing problem in the United States. High risk behaviors and lack of disease information and resources have had a profound effect on the spread of such diseases. Some of these diseases have little to no symptoms yet can be extremely harmful if not treated and can spread without knowing so. Getting proper education in dealing with such diseases can help you as an individual protect yourself from infection.

Chlamydia - Chlamydia is one of the most common STD's today. Chlamydia is easily spread through sexual activities hence they are a sexually transmitted disease. Clamidia treatment is usually pretty easy and uncomplicated. Chlamydia can cause sterility in both men and women. At least three million individuals are infected with Chlamydia each year. Common symptoms of clamidia include: discharge from lower regions, painful urination, painful intercourse, abdominal pain, nausea, fever, swelling and bleeding from lower regions (specific symptoms for men or women). Symptoms usually occur with in 21 days of infection. Treatment of Chlamydia is usually taken care of with an antibiotic, usually doxycycline, taken for a week.

Herpes - Herpes is also an extremely common sexually transmitted disease. Most adults have some version of the disease. Many do not know they even have the herpies virus. Herpes is often associated with sores on the mouth (cold sores) and genitals (genital herpes). There is no cure for herpes however herpies symptoms and breakouts can be treated with medication prescribed by your doctor. Someone using these medications can lead break-out free lives. Generally, herpes is usually the most problematic during the first breakout and lessons with age.

Hepatitis - There are many versions of hepatitis. Hepatitus B for example can be prevented with a vaccination, other versions of hepatitis cannot. Hepatitis can be spread via sexual activity or by eating food handled improperly as a Food-Bourne illness. Hepatitis is a serious illness that affects the Liver and may cause jaundice. All symptoms associated with hepatitis should be directed to a medical professional for immediate treatment. Hepatitus can be very serious and it is important to get the facts and resources immediately for treatment. Other symptoms of hepatitis can include : extreme fatigue, headache, fever and hives. Hepatitus may be invisible during its most contagious stages.

Proper knowledge and safe practices can help you extremely reduce the risks of getting infected with a sexually transmitted disease. For more information on sexually transmitted diseases visit your local health department, your primary physician or a pregnancy resource center near you.

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Jacketed General Anxiety Disorder

(category: Disease-Illness, Word count: 278)
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The term "Anxiety disorder" has become a jacket term, covering many unique forms of abnormal anxiety, fears, phobias and nervous conditions. All of these conditions come on suddenly and prevent an individual from continuining daily routines.

Of the several different types of anxiety disorder these are the most popular:

- Claustrophobia

- Social anxiety

- Specific phobias

- Obsessive-compulsive disorder

- General anxiety disorder

- Post-traumatic stress disorder

- Agoraphobia

- Panic disorder

- Separation anxiety disorder

Usually all of these disorders or conditions are chronix, and lifestyle restricting. Alot of times individuals will be born with their condition, but it is also known that they can begin suddenly after a triggering event. Stress is a known factor which will increase in their persistence.

There are several drugs available on the market that treat these disorders. They are drugs like benzodiazepines and antidepressants. A good counselor or behavioural therapist is often able to treat the disorders through use of cognitive therapies.

It is important to know that anxiety is a complicated combination of the feeling of fear and worry. It can occur as a primary brain disorder, but is often times associated with other medical problems. Anxiety is most of the time said to have a cognitive, an emotial, a somatic and a behavioral component. All of these components make up the whole, which is Anxiety. In it's chronic state Social Anxiety Disorder can be disabling, and prevent individuals from completing daily tasks, although with the help of drugs and therapies many of these individuals can battle the disorder and continue on with their lives.

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Understanding The Stages Of Alzheimer S Disease

(category: Disease-Illness, Word count: 490)
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A person's mental and physical abilities deteriorate as he progresses through various stages of Alzheimer's disease. However, the way the disease manifests can vary quite widely from one person to another.

Knowing about Alzheimer's stages can help the caregivers plan for and cope with the disease better. The following is based on Dr. Reisberg's study which divides the disease into seven stages.

Stage 1: This is when no symptom of the disease is manifest and full mental and physical functions are retained.

Stage 2: At this stage, there is some loss of memory and the person may forget names of friends and family at times. The person is full aware that his mental functions are declining. This is often mistaken to be the result of normal ageing processes rather than as the beginning of Alzheimer's disease.

Stage 3: This is still an early stage of the disease, but the symptoms are more noticeable now. The sufferer may go into denial. There is an inability to concentrate on tasks and performance at work may deteriorate.

The person becomes more anxious. They get lost quite easily in unfamiliar territory. Misplacing objects is quite common at this stage. Their ability to remember recently acquired information deteriorates.

Stage 4: At this stage, the person can't perform complex tasks on his own. Examples include filing tax returns or handling finances in general. As a way out, they may want to avoid such situations altogether.

The ability to concentrate deteriorates further and so does memory. They may not be able to remember some events in their lives. Mood swings are common.

Stage 5: Now the patients will need assistance in ordinary tasks like picking appropriate clothes to wear. They may be unable to remember parts of their lives, although they will still remember basic information about themselves, their family and some friends.

Their sense of time begins to deteriorate as well.

Stage 6: This is a moderate to severe stage of Alzheimer's disease. Forgetfulness accelerates and they may not even remember the name of their spouse. Large chunks of their lives are forgotten.

They definitely need help to cope with routine activities like bathing, dressing, etc. Incontinence may set in at this stage. Their sleep patterns may be disturbed.

Their personality will likely undergo a complete change. They may become violent or exhibit obsessive behaviour.

Stage 7: This is severe Alzheimer's disease. The ability to speak is limited to less than a dozen words. They may lose the ability to walk, sit up or even hold their head up. This is a stage where the brain is apparently incapable of directing the body.

These stages of Alzheimer's disease may occur differently in various individuals. What is described above is a composite picture that can help to understand how a person's faculties diminish with the progress of Alzheimer's disease.

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