Healthy Living

Alzheimer's Disease and Personality Changes

Alzheimer's Disease and Personality Changes

Alzheimer's Disease and Personality Changes

In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, also known as AD, most individuals may suffer from behavioral and personality changes. Often times, individuals with AD may become confused, frightened, or rely on a family member. With AD, a loved one may experience mood swings or lash out for no apparent reason.

“This is especially distressing for the relatives and friends of the person with Alzheimer’s. The general behavior and personality of someone with Alzheimer’s often seems to be in complete contrast to typical behavior exhibited throughout the patient’s life” says Barbara Jones, author of several online magazines. 

During the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease or AD, many of the individuals are known to suffer from personality as well as behavioral changes. It has been seen that often such individuals are confused, they have to rely on their family members or they get frightened. They can experience mood swings or may just lash out for no reason at all. This becomes extremely discomforting for their family members or friends. These changes in the behavior of the one suffering from AD is just contrast as to their actual personality. Few of the commonly seen personality changes would include, lack of interest or taking any initiative, unable to make decisions, not able to interpret common daily life situations, pacing, getting paranoid, depressed, unable to take care of themselves or maintaining proper hygiene, they tend to express certain unusual sexual behavior, get themselves withdrawn from the family, friends or relatives and experience cases of anger or worry.

The AD is known to damage multiple portions of the brain thereby causing a negative effect on the cognitive abilities of the individual. When a part of the brain fails to properly perform then it starts to have odd feelings which can lead to mixed feelings or changes in personality.  During the advanced stages of this disease, the individual would be unable to perform their daily activities and other symptoms also arise.

There has been a new diagnosis being proposed which is called as Mild Behavioral Impairment or MBI. This is basically for early detection of this condition. It would basically help in identifying any kind of unusual changes in the personality or behavior of the individual which most of the times tend to get overlooked in AD. There is a checklist of questions and it would help in identifying a new kind of clinical stage for this disease. There would be 34 questions in the checklist to identify who are at a greater risk of AD.

By getting this checklist completed the doctor would be able to identify if the patients have MBI which can also entail future neuropsychiatric symptoms of AD. The study says that if the answers to the questions in the checklist are yes then it would be a sign of an early stage of AD. This MBI checklist would be refined and also confirmed by the Alzheimer’s community since it would not only be significant on a clinical basis but also for the research. This can help to derive a version to the family members of those who have older adults for determining the extent as well as the nature of the symptoms and how to measure the changes occurring over time.

There was another study which investigated the changes in personality related to dementia. The findings are known to reinforce that certain kind of personality changes which are also associated with AD are due to various risk factors instead of the consequence of the disease itself. While there are more than million people suffering from AD and the number is expected to grow but the researchers trying to identify ways wherein the symptoms can be identified early to receive the best care possible for the patient.