Everyone’s experience living with Alzheimer’s disease is unique. Alzheimer’s is a highly complex disease, and its pathology and disease mechanisms can affect each individual differently. Consequently, a wide range of possible symptoms can arise throughout the disease course.
This article will cover some of the most common Alzheimer’s disease signs and symptoms throughout the disease continuum.
To understand why symptoms such as memory loss and behavioral changes arise, it’s important to understand how Alzheimer’s disease affects the structures of the brain. The human brain comprises around 86 billion neurons that process and transmit information through chemical and electrical signals. As plaques and tangles from Alzheimer’s disease spread through various brain regions, these neurons die. Because neurons do not divide, regenerate, or renew themselves, they are not replaced.
In the early stages, Alzheimer’s disease causes damage to brain regions that are essential for learning and memory as well as thinking and planning. This is why memory loss is often one of the first reported symptoms in people living with Alzheimer’s disease.
As Alzheimer’s disease progresses and plaques and tangles become more widespread, regions involved in speech, articulation, and visual perception are affected. Alzheimer’s disease can also damage structures in the cerebral cortex, such as the frontal lobe, which is involved in focus, attention, decision-making, speech, impulse control, social behavior, and other aspects of behavior and personality. In advanced Alzheimer’s disease, many brain regions are affected, including those involved in movement and motor control.
As a result of the damage in various brain regions, people living with Alzheimer’s disease typically experience a range of cognitive, functional, behavioral, and psychological symptoms throughout the disease continuum.
Alzheimer’s disease signs and symptoms throughout the disease course may include the following:
For more information on Alzheimer’s disease, listen to this podcast sponsored by Altoida: What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Altoida’s mission is to accelerate and improve drug development, neurological disease research, and patient care. To learn more about our precision neurology platform and app-based medical device, contact us today.