How the gradual loss of senses can be an early Alzheimer predictor

Alzheimer’s Disease is a predatorial mind monster

Alzheimer’s disease is in many way a mercyless and brutal disease for all involved, as dementia incrementally robs a person of their cognitive abilities. Its cost on relationships and the emotional anguish as the cognitive decline progresses, can induce utter dispair in the one with the diagnosis, as well as in the relatives. If you’re not already familiar with dementia by firsthand experience, I would strongly recommend you to see the Oscar winning motion picture «The Father». Its soundscape conveys the fear and anger developing as the disease progresses.

Even though Oscar-awarded Anthony Hopkins did a phenomenal work portraying the cognitive decline in the protagonist, as he slowly looses memory, starts hallucinating, exhibits great changes in emotional composture, and eventually regresses to a childhood like state, there is a dimension to Alzheimer’s which is also valuable to address. The ongoing sensory processing changes. Sensory dysfunction.

Sensory integration issues often occur in patients with Alzheimers Disease

Often the object of our attention when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, are the cognitive consequences. Another aspect of dementia diseases is the fact that people start developing distorted sensory experiences.

Water in the shower can suddenly feel burning, freezing or horribly violent, or even make you feel like your skin is disintegrating and flushing out into the drain. This can cause terrifying fear, and affect behaviour immensely.

Food can feel like texture swells in the mouth, and the sense of sweet, sour, bitter, salty and spicy can all distort into strange variations, causing unexpected food aversions, that are not merely related to loss of the memory. Anthony in «The Father» claims he finds coffee disgusting and «always has been drinking tea», which should not necessarily be dismissed as cognitive decline, but should be explored in a sensory perspective as well.

Early predictors in premature hearing and smelling loss

Copious amounts of research suggests that loss of hearing may be a very early predictor of the debut of Alzheimers Disease. Recent studies now suggest that loss of smell due to a certain genetic variant (apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4) as well, may indicate increased risk of Alzheimer occurrence later in life… So the latest publikation in the esteemed peer reviewed journal Neurology, may point to the fact that one should be aware of early signs in the health services.