Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
(Alzheimer disease) is one of many causes of
dementia, an impairment in
memory and thinking that is severe enough to affect an individual's ability to
function in daily life. Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease are subtle at first and
may be identical to those associated with other causes of dementia. While this
article is a guide to the symptoms associated with various stages of Alzheimer's
disease, the diagnosis of the condition must be made by a doctor who can
determine the exact cause of the symptoms and rule out other causes of dementia.
Alzheimer's disease begins with a mild, slowly worsening memory loss. These
initial symptoms typically develop over a period of years and may be subtle. The
disease progresses at different rates in different people. Over time, people
with the disease lose their ability to think and reason clearly, make judgments,
solve problems, communicate, concentrate, remember useful information, and take
care of themselves.
As the disease progresses, changes in personality and behavior can develop.
Individuals may experience anxiety, agitation, paranoia, delusions, and
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A Caregivers' Challenge: Dealing with "Sundowning" in Alzheimer's Disease
Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP,
"Sundowning" or "Sundown Syndrome" is a phenomenon well known to many of the estimated 2.4 to 3.1 million caregivers to persons with Alzheimer's diseasein the U.S. Sundowning refers to the changes in behavior and mood that often occur in the late afternoon or evening in people with Alzheimer's disease and similar conditions that alter brain function. These changes in mood and behavior can be particularly challenging for caregivers and loved ones.
Alzheimer disease (Alzheimer’s disease, AD), the most common cause of dementia1, isan acquired cognitive and behavioral impairment of sufficient severity that markedly interferes with social and occupational functioning.