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What happens as PCA progresses? (sensitive)

Professor Sebastian Crutch describes how posterior cortical atrophy changes over time, and the seven stages of PCA project.

Professor Sebastian Crutch describes how posterior cortical atrophy changes over time, and the seven stages of PCA project.

The Stages of PCA project is based on a framework developed for typical AD, and aims to give an idea of the different symptoms that may be experienced at different stages. There are many caveats to the stages, everybody is different and people may move at a faster or slower rate; and people’s perception of what is ‘mild’ and what is ‘severe’ may be different.

We’ve listed the labels of the stages with a couple of aspects for each stage below, but do take a look at the stages of PCA document (see downloads below) to see all the caveats and more detail about each stage.

Stage 1. No impairment (normal function)

Stage 2. Very mild cognitive decline
– Difficulties with reading and writing
– Difficulty using a computer

Stage 3. Mild cognitive decline
– Difficulty finding things in a handbag, cupboard, etc.
– Difficulty seeing things which are ‘right under your nose’ or only seeing part of something

Stage 4. Moderate cognitive decline
– Inability to read labels on food packets
– Problems discriminating coins

Stage 5. Moderately severe cognitive decline
– Require help with most or all everyday tasks
– Require support or supervision when walking due to visual difficulties or movement difficulties

Stage 6. Severe cognitive decline
– May become ‘functionally blind’ requiring support in all visual activities
– Experience deterioration of other sensory functions such as touch

Stage 7. Very severe cognitive decline
– Symptoms may resemble typical AD more closely than at previous stages
– Individuals may have a reduced ability to respond to their environment and carry on a conversation

In the video we heard Professor Crutch explain how different people like to receive different information about the disease at different times. What are the things that would encourage you to want more information earlier, and what are the things that would mean you prefer not to find everything out right away?

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