AD most frequently presents with episodic memory impairment as the earliest and most prominent feature, with additional deficits in language, semantic memory, executive functioning, visuospatial abilities, and functional impairment that emerge over the disease course .A common misconception is that AD is a “normal” or expected occurrence of aging, and it is part of the typical trajectory of age-related cognitive decline.Tags: Lord Of The Flies Symbolism Essay FireTales From Ovid EssayGym Business Plan Template40 Model Essays A Portable Anthology By Jane AaronEthnic Background EssayEthnocentrism And Cultural Relativism Essay
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As individuals live to advanced ages (e.g., over the age of 80), it can become more challenging to differentiate between the subtle cognitive declines that accompany aging and those that signify early dementia .
The trajectory of AD is characterized along a continuum, ranging from healthy aging to preclinical AD, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and dementia.
Rather, healthy aging has been found to be associated with relatively stable performance on measures of cognitive functioning when measured longitudinally.
However, cross-sectional studies have indicated that some domains of cognitive functioning do in fact decline with age .
Pathological changes that underlie AD begin to accumulate for years, or even decades, before emotional, physical, or cognitive symptoms emerge, eventually reaching a threshold at which the onset of a gradual and progressive decline in cognition occurs .
Preclinical AD constitutes the presymptomatic phase during which characteristic neuropathological changes begin to emerge .
The transitional period between normal cognitive functioning and dementia is referred to as Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) ; the most common form, the one most likely to progress to AD, is amnestic MCI (a-MCI).
Patients with a-MCI present with memory deficits greater than would be expected based on age and education; however functional abilities remain relatively preserved and independence intact .