The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and retrogenesis has been a common disorder of the elderly. In studies they have compared Alzheimer’s with different stages of adolescent behavior. The term Retrogenesis suggests that the brain of a person with Alzheimer’s disease deteriorates in the reverse order. During this process individuals lose their cognitive abilities and begin to revert back to childlike behavior, and continue to deteriorate over the course of the next several years. The middle stage is when most of the difficult behaviors begin. The average cognitive and functional levels are that of a four year old and will continue to deteriorate. This is when the need for 24-hour care may become necessary. During the last stage the person can deteriorate to the functional level of a newborn. The comparison to developmental stages in children is useful in understanding the disease process.
Alzheimer’s disease begins in the entorhinal cortex area near the hippocampus. The hippocampus is essential for short and long term memories. The changes in the brain can start 10-20 years before any symptoms occur. Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging. This is a slow disease starting with minimal memory problems and ending with severe brain damage. Individuals with dementia of Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia have shown the signs and symptoms of retrogenesis. An individual can live up to 20 years after being diagnosed.
There are several stages to the Retrogenesis beginning at stage 1 – stage 7. During these stage people lose their abilities to function by themselves, and may need extensive assistance. During Stage 1 people function as normal individuals experience no memory problems or cognitive declines. They would be considered normal. They could hold down jobs and live normal lives. This stage could last several years. In Stage 2 individuals show a very mild cognitive decline similar to normal age-related changes. Individuals may experience memory lapses. They may start forgetting familiar words or names or the location of everyday objects. They can hold down jobs and maintain relationships. Sometimes these symptoms may not be noticeable to friends, family or co-workers. The comparative age at this point is normal adult. In Stage 3 is the border stage between normal aging and early-stage Alzheimer's may be diagnosed in some individuals. Friends, family or co-workers may begin to notice problems with memory or concentration. During this stage it is more difficult to remember names, maintaining work and family, short term memory starts going and individuals become disorganized and frustrated. Individuals will start to repeat themselves and become anxious. The comparative age is 12+ this stage can last up to seven years.
In Stage 4 individuals have a moderate cognitive decline. There is a decreased knowledge of recent events, but can remember important events and dates. The loss of ability to perform and complete task starts to occur. Individuals may have difficulties remembering to paying bills and managing finances. Individuals may seem withdrawn in social or challenging situations. The comparative age is 8-12 years. This stage can last between 2-3 years.
At Stage 5 there is moderately severe cognitive decline this would be considered moderate or mid-stage Alzheimer's. There is a significant gap in memory. At this stage individuals may require some assistance with daily activities, such as picking out whether appropriate clothing, toileting needs and other person hygiene. At this stage, individuals may be unable to recall important details like their current address or telephone number. They may be confused about where they are or what day of the week it is. This is the stage when people require more one on one attention and some families feel nursing homes are the safest/best place for their loved ones. The comparative age is 5-7 years. This