For the majority of people living with Alzheimer’s disease, the condition tends to progress slowly over a number of years. However, for some, the disease may progress much more quickly. There are factors and complications that may cause a sudden decline in an Alzheimer’s patient but these can often be overcome if treated quickly and the person will then revert back to a slower progression of the disease.
According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the common reasons why an Alzheimer’s disease patient may experience a sudden progression of the condition include:
- Medications: Some Alzheimer’s patients may develop an adverse reaction to their medication. If this is the case, their healthcare team can prescribe different medications.
- Infections: Some infections may exacerbate certain Alzheimer’s symptoms including pneumonia, sinus infections, and urinary tract infections. Once treated the patient should return to how they were before.
- Fatigue: Lack of sleep and fatigue can exacerbate many of the symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Stress: A change in the patient’s social surroundings or environment may trigger stress. Moving home, a change in healthcare team or change in family dynamics may lead to a temporary progression of symptoms.
- Vitamin deficiencies: If the patient is deficient in certain vitamins such as vitamin B-12, folate, niacin, or thiamin, this may bring on a rapid progression of symptoms. Regular blood tests can check the levels of these important vitamins.
- Depression: Depression and anxiety are common in Alzheimer’s patients but can be treated.
- Thyroid problems: Thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism can exacerbate Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.
- Other neurological conditions: MRI scans may be needed to rule out the presence of other neurological conditions which may be advancing the Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.