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Alzheimer's strikes the Rhinestone Cowboy

Alzheimer's is a debilitating disease which can attack anyone, even someone as famous as Glen Campbell, the Rhinestone Cowboy. According to USA Today, Glen Campbell, 77, has been moved to an Alzheimer's facility last week due to his memory-impairment problems. Although Glen Campbell is suffering from Alzheimer's, he remains upbeat and is playing golf. Unfortunately, the singer does have what his wife, Kim Woolen, refers to as “dark spells” where he is agitated and restless. He also has had issues with paranoia and suspicion. After consulting with physicians about his condition he and his wife believe he is at a better place.

What is Alzheimer's?

Alzheimer's which is a type of dementia which affects a person’s behavior, memory and thinking is generally slow to develop, but it can worsen over time, often to the point sufferers eventually have difficulty carrying on conversations or properly responding to their environment. Ultimately they may be unable to complete daily tasks on their own without support. It is also the most common type of dementia, accounting for up to 50 to 80 percent of dementia cases. Although Alzheimer's most frequently affects the aged, it is not considered a “normal” part of the aging process. It is a disease, and it can attack anyone, even younger individuals in their 40s or 50s. Alzheimer's sufferers can live up to 20 years after they are diagnosed, but if the disease is contracted when someone is older, the average life-expectancy is eight years.

How do I know if I or someone I love has Alzheimer's?

How do you know if you or someone you love has Alzheimer's? Experts suggest there are several early warning signs: 1. Memory loss which makes it difficult to continue with your daily life. First, if you have memory loss, which includes forgetting information you have recently acquired, such as dates or events, or if you have to ask someone the same details over and over again, this might be one of the first signs you have Alzheimer's. 2. Difficulty solving and planning Next, some people with early onset Alzheimer's may have trouble making a plan, solving problems or keeping track of information. Concentrating may also become more difficult. 3. Confusion with dates, time or places Another sign of dementia is confusion with dates, times or locations. Passage of time or seasons may also be confusing. Other sufferers will wander and become confused about where they are or where they are going. 4. Participating in conversations Alzheimer's may also make it difficult to carry on a coherent conversation or may cause a sufferer to repeat themselves. Vocabulary can also become more difficult. 5. Mood and personality changes Finally, it’s not unusual for some Alzheimer's patients to have mood swings. Their personalities can also change as they struggle with confusion, depression and suspicion of others. Due to the changes they also may start to withdraw from social settings and avoid places and people who are unfamiliar, choosing instead to remain at home or in other comfortable settings. If you or someone you love has experienced any of the symptoms outlined above, it’s time to talk to a doctor.
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