Alzheimers Life Expectancy
What if you can count how many more days a person is going to live? Knowing alzheimers life expectancy may help the patients’ family members to plan for the future of their patient and themselves. It may provide estimation about the financial assistance needed for the alzheimers care and professional help taken for the patient.
Alzheimers disease is one of the leading causes of deaths worldwide. It is said that in the next 10 years 30 percent of population will be suffering from this disease. Alzheimers is a degenerative, incurable, irreversible and terminal cognitive disorder caused due to death of nerve cells in the brain. Nerve cells fail to communicate with each other due to formation of plaques and tangles in some parts of the brain rendering it unable to function properly.
Life expectancy of Alzheimers patient
Alzheimers is a progressive disease. The course of this disease is variable from person to person. Some people have the disease only for the last 5 to 6 years of life, while others may suffer from it for as many as 20 years.
Life expectancy of Alzheimers patient is highly dependent on
- Age of the person
Depending on the age of the person at the onset of the disease alzheiemrs life expectancy varies. If Alzheimers is diagnosed at an early age then the person may live longer than the person whose disease appeared later in life
- Medical condition
If the medical condition of the patient is good then the person may live longer, like if the person does not have any other health issues like cardiac problem, blood pressure, etc.
Those with multiple health issues tend to live less than those who have no other physical problems or comparatively fewer problems with their health.
Causes of death
Death of Alzheimers patient is often due to other medical complications like pneumonia, infection or the flu. Nevertheless, Alzheimer’s is fatal – even if there are no other problems, the patient will die due to failure of major body parts.
Prominent Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
For early diagnosis of the disease it is important to know about the Alzheimers symptoms. The neurologic progression of Alzheimer’s results in permanent loss of neurons in the brain cells specifically in the cortex and the hippocampus. Some of its clinical characteristics are:
- Progressive impairment in memory
- Inability to make judgments
- Failure at decision-making
- Reduction of orientation to physical surroundings
- Vulnerable language
As the disease progresses, symptoms include some or all of the following:
- Bad temper and aggression
- Constant mood swings
- Long-term memory loss
- General withdrawal of the victim
Unfortunately, at present Alzheimer’s is an incurable disease and the existing treatments offer relatively less indicative help but are mostly palliative. While treatment for occurring symptoms, proper services and aid makes life better for the people having Alzheimer’s but this does not reverse the terminal disease. Currently available treatments may slow down the progress of Alzheimers but do not halt it.
The average life expectancy for an Alzheimer’s patient is around 8 to 10 years following the onset of symptoms. However, there are occurrences when people with Alzheimers lived up to 20 years after the first signs appear.
More than 5.3 million people are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease in United States alone. The neurologic progression of Alzheimer’s results in permanent loss of neurons in the brain cells specifically in the cortex and the hippocampus. Alzheimer’s develops with passage of time. Researchers are constantly trying to acquire more knowledge about the disease but till date no definitive treatment has been identified to cure, halt or reverse the progress of Alzheimers. It is important to follow a healthy lifestyle in order to increase the alzheimers life expectancy.