Losing All Your Memories

By: Catelyn

      It’s annoying to forget what your about to say, right? What if you lost all your memories?  Such as, losing everything from your childhood to what happened last night. This is not just memory loss. This is seven long and drawn out stages. This is Alzheimer’s.  This is losing all your memories.

                                                  The Seven Scary Stages

                                             What are the Seven Stages?

The seven stages are step by step frames that an Alzheimer’s patient travels through as the disease progresses. Understanding these frames can help you identify the stages of Alzheimer’s. For instance, say you were taking care of an Alzheimer’s individual. If you didn’t understand some behaviors that were going on (such as wandering off or looking for a misplaced object) you would refer back to the seven stages to find which stage the victim is going through. Then you might find that it is normal for Alzheimer’s patients to be going through something as abnormal as placing objects in strange places.

Stage 1 and 2

Stage 1: No cognitive impairment: The individual shows no slowed or impaired memory function and no memory functions will be shown under treatment or examination of a professional. 

Stage 2: Very mild cognitive decline: Subject will show mild signs such as forgetting what most people would say is normal to forget now and then.  Subject will start forgetting objects such as names, recent events, and location of everyday objects (such as pens, keys, wristwatch, etc.) This stage isn’t usually visible to people around but to the subject that is being affected.

Stage 3 and 4

Stage 3: Mild cognitive decline: This stage is where some individual (not all) can be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Stage 4: Moderate cognitive decline: This stage is where under a careful examination of a medical professional (doctor) the subject shows clear signs of some or all of the following:

·  Impaired memory of recent activities

·  Impaired ability of creative or challenging thinking (such as counting backwards from 100 by 7’s)

·  Impaired ability to plan ahead of time

·  Memory loss of personal history or experiences

·  A subdued state of mind in difficult situations

Stages 5 and 6

Stage 5: Moderately severe cognitive decline: This stage is where individual start to show large gaps in preforming tasks that includes memory. It’s difficult for the subject to remember addresses, phone numbers, where the individual went to school, etc.

Stage 6: Severe cognitive decline:  This stage is where the subjects’ memory starts to worsen. This affects personality and the patient will require extensive daily care.

Stage 7

Stage 7: Very severe cognitive decline: Individual will lose the ability to speak and respond to their environment. Unfortunately, they will also lose the ability to control their body movement.

                                                           Risk Factors

                                                What are Risk Factors?

Risk factors are well risks that may lead to developing Alzheimer’s. These risks aren’t like “jumping off a cliff and see if you can stay alive” risks. These risks are actually not the victims fault, a risk for Alzheimer’s can become out of your control. It is not your fault, it is just part of your genetic makeup, and you can’t change that. 


Most of all Alzheimer’s cases are late-onset, but some families, it is a gene called Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) which appears to be a risk factor. There is more than one form of this gene, ApoE2, ApoE3 and ApoE4. Sadly, one in four Americans has the gene ApoE4, but thankfully one in twenty has ApoE2.  While ApoE4 increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, Apo2 protects against Alzheimer’s, but it is not a risk factor.


The single greatest risk factor of the development of Alzheimer’s is age. While a Kindergartener doesn’t even know what Alzheimer’s is, his own Grandmother could be developing it.  5% of Americans between the ages of sixty-five and seventy-four, and about half of those eighty-five and older, were estimated to have Alzheimer’s.

Familial Alzheimer’s disease (FAD), which is a rare form of the disease, develops before age sixty-five and could begin to develop in people as young as thirty-five. This is caused by one of the three gene mutation on chromosomes 1, 14, and 2.


Research suggests that the higher your education is your risk of developing Alzheimer’s is lower, that being so, people who have lower education are at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s. People who are overweight are at a higher risk too.

Potential Contributing Factors

These are risk factors that are a little different. These are diseases that might be linked to Alzheimer’s.

Type 2 Diabetes: Sorry to say but this disease might lead to Alzheimer’s. Type 2 Diabetes doesn’t covert blood sugar into energy. This results higher levels of insulin which may hurt the brain and lead to the progression of Alzheimer’s.

Cardiovascular Disease: Increasing ones risk in developing Alzheimer’s may be having diseases associated with heart disease and stroke. The high blood pressure may damage blood vessels in the brain, impairing memory functions.

Oxidative Damage: These molecules seek being stable by damaging other molecules, which can hurt cells and may contribute the Alzheimer’s disease.

                                      What causes Alzheimer’s?

                                                   The Answers

Scientists still don’t fully understand what causes Alzheimer’s but they are definitely zeroing in on the answers. If we get to the point where scientists understand the causes, it should lead to more targeted treatments and ways to prevent the disease. Right now we know that there is probably not one single cause. Some doctors say that it is genetics while others say it is lifestyle (some say both). Scientists believe that genetic mutation plays a role in the development of Alzheimer’s, but there is still no cure or way to prevent Alzheimer’s from happening (yet).   More than one gene can cause Alzheimer’s, but, the question is what genes and how do we prevent them?


Boyd Haley, who is head of the chemistry department at the University of Kentucky, is an expert on mercury toxicity and stated that amalgams release toxic mercury into the mouth; if mercury can get into the brain, it can cause plaques and tangles. One person who agrees to Boyd’s theory is Terry Pratchett who said he believes that the old fillings in his teeth caused his disease.

Suspicions of aluminum could be linked to Alzheimer’s started during the 1960’s when scientists found injections of aluminum compounds into rabbits, which caused tangle like formations in the rabbit’s nerve cells. But, then research failed to find any difference of aluminum compounds between an Alzheimer’s brain and a healthy brain.


Early signs

Early signs of Alzheimer’s may result in the following:

·  Forgetting time and place such as what year it is and getting lost on familiar streets

·  Problems using language may be a sign. Although it is normal to forget words, people with Alzheimer’s may become hard to understand and may substitute unusual words or phrases for forgotten ones

·  Loss of good judgment (e.g. pajamas worn outside in the winter)

·  Problems with abstract thinking such as forgetting the meaning of numbers and what to do with them

·  Misplacing things

·  Rapid mood swings such as going from apparent calm to crying or being unexplainably angry at times may also be warning signs

·  Signs of depression may also mean the victim is starting the process of developing Alzheimer’s

·  Personality changes may be very sudden and dramatic

·  It may be difficult for the victim to perform tasks that may seem familiar such as making a meal or brushing your teeth

·  The memory loss may affect a job skill, such as becoming so confused that you cannot perform their job


The Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of age-related form of dementia. Don’t let Alzheimer’s take you over. If experiencing any of these symptoms, please find help now. Remember to take care of your brain, don’t do drugs or drink alcohol. Treat your brain and body correctly. Although some of the risk factors are out of your control, you can decrease your chance of getting Alzheimer’s by controlling your diet, and exercising your brain and body.  Just remember, if you don’t, you could lose all your memories.

Works Cited

Alzheimer's Disease Research. Unidentified, n.d. Web. .

Fisher Center Foundation. Unidentified, n.d. Web. .

Hains, Bryan. Brain Disorders. New York: Infobase, 2006. Print.

Memory Study. Unidentified, n.d. Web. .

Parks, Peggy. Alzheimer's Disease. San Diego, CA: Referencepoint, 2009. Print.

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