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Progression of disease
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:41 PM
Originally posted by: Cathy J. M.

Steve, what medications is your wife taking to help keep her functioning better even as the disease progresses? (These medications don't prolong her life, but can prolong her QUALITY of life.) Also, there are other things you can do once you resolve some of the immediate issues -- re. socializing, activities, diet and exercise.

You're right that there are rough estimates about the length of each stage, but in fact, people can zigzag back and forth and get better for a time; it's not all a decline.

I was able to ease my partner's paranoid delusions with light -- doubling the light in the house during the day, switching to yellow and amber bulbs at night, making sure there's more light all night in the bedroom than most people would want (yellow). For several weeks last fall she had light therapy also.

Of course she needs loads and loads of reassurance that you love her and she's safe with you -- a tall order when you need some big doses of knowledge and confidence, yourself. You may need to do some good acting till you believe it yourself.

Be sure her brain specialist knows exactly what's happening with her. Keep a daily log of what she says and does that seems troublesome, so you can share it with the specialist at each visit. I'd call for an emergency appt. now -- since light plus reassurance may need some supplementation with an antipsychotic, if only for a few weeks.

Not sure what books you've read; "I'm Still Here," by John Zeisel, is very good. Also "Learning to Speak Alzheimer's." These are two of my favorites; other forum members will recommend more.
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:41 PM
Originally posted by: Mimi S.

Hi Steve,
Welcome to our group. We're so glad you found us but so sorry for what is happening in your life.

Please call your doctor immediately about her behavior. There are medications that can help.
if your doctor brushes you off, look further. You want someone with a lot of experience with dementia patients. Often a geriatrician or neurologist will fit the bill. You will need someone that your wife and you can trust to guide you through this journey.

And have your read and read? Browse through the Alz.org website. Great reads.
A good book is Creating Moments of Joy by Jolene Brackey. Also on the web: Naomi Feil and her Validation method. Study one of her books. A copy from the library should be fine.

Quick hint: Validate whatever she says she hears or sees. And note there is a difference between agreeing and validating. "people are coming and messing your clothes! That is awful! What should we do about it?"

Good luck!
Internal Administrator
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:41 PM
Joined: 1/14/2015
Posts: 40463

Originally posted by: Steve P

I am the caregiver for my wife who was labeled with Alz in March 2010 - early onset. She is now showing more signs of progression of the memory loss. She is paranoial and believes there is another me and people coming into the house to say or mess with her clothing. My question or request is to get some sort of indication on how she will develope into this dreadful condition and what time frame will the progression take place? I have read some material and have been told that a 10 year period to the end is the usual expectation. However, certainly there are some statistics on this.


Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:41 PM
Originally posted by: silvertop

Paranoia and horrible delusions with catastropic outbursts directed at me were my husband first symptoms,beginning in 2005. Diagnosis was July 2010 as memory loss became more evident. I leave the area when he starts yelling, and I now understand that his is the result of the brain damage. But I was very close to leaving after 44 years of marriage. I'm holding together, and I'm trying to hold him together, but he's not doing that well.
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:41 PM
Originally posted by: JAB

Hi, Steve, welcome to the forum.

Information on the stages of the disease in a "typical" patient -- if there is any such thing -- can be found at:

Please remember that no two patients are alike -- what your journey will be like is difficult, if not impossible, to predict.

Studies on how long patients typically live after diagnosis, and factors that can affect the prognosis, are at:

I am shocked beyond words that Mimi posted without telling you about Best Practices. Big Grin These are a number of things you can do to help slow down the course of this disease, including:

(1) Sticking as closely as you can to a Mediterranean diet (with wine and nuts), which has been shown to help prevent/delay the onset of AD, and also slow its progression. See:



Basically, it involves:
- High intake of vegetables, legumes, fruits, and cereals
- High intake of unsaturated fatty acids (mostly in the form of olive oil)
- Low intake of saturated fatty acids
- Moderately high intake of fish
- Low-to-moderate intake of dairy products (mostly cheese or yogurt)
- Low intake of meat and poultry
- A regular but moderate amount of ethanol, primarily in the form of wine and generally during meals

To that, I would add eating a quarter cup of nuts every day -- quite a few studies have found they're very good for you.

Also, olive oil is very good for salad dressings etc, but not so much so for cooking especially at higher temps. Use canola oil for that, or a mix of the two. (I've seen plenty of products that contain olive and canola oils.)

Avoid hydrogenated fats and trans fats like the plague.

(2) Lots of physical exercise ... there is quite a bit of evidence it can help prevent/delay onset.

(3) Lots of exercise for the brain -- activities that involve learning something new. I've seen some reports that learning new things coupled with using a computer can be particularly helpful.

(4) Socialization, doing things with friends and family.

(5) Plenty of rest.

(6) NO SMOKING!!! and avoid air pollution as much as possible.

(7) Do whatever you can do to minimize stress ... and help your loved one learn and practice stress reduction techniques. Many of us can confirm that stress exacerbates cognitive dysfunction; and researchers are beginning to think that prolonged, severe stress can actually trigger AD.

Other members have recommended that you get your wife started on AD meds if you haven't already done so. They are the first line of defense against behavioral problems such as delusions. See:

Non-drug interventions for helping keep her calm and happy, see:

Jennifer Ghent-Fuller's article, "Understanding the Dementia Experience":

and Jolene Brackey's book, "Creating Moments of Joy":
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