Los 40 USA
Sign in to commentAPP
spainSPAINchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA


Rosalynn Carter diagnosed with dementia: Is it hereditary? What are the stages of the disease?

The former first lady of the United States has the illness whilst her husband Jimmy remains in hospice care. How does the disease work?

El Carter Center ha anunciado que la ex primera dama de Estados Unidos, Rosalyn Carter, comenzará a recibir cuidados paliativos.

Rosalynn Carter has been diagnosed with dementia, announced the Carter Center foundation.

“She continues to live happily at home with her husband,” the statement said.

Carter is the former First Lady of the United States and was born on August 18, 1927, in Plains, Georgia. Rosalynn Smith, as she was known before marriage, married Jimmy Carter on July 7, 1946. Jimmy Carter later served as the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981.

As First Lady, Rosalynn Carter was known for her advocacy work and commitment to various social issues. She focused on mental health, women’s rights, and the well-being of children. She played an active role in the Carter administration and was often referred to as President Carter’s closest advisor.

Jimmy himself has been in hospice care since March.

Is dementia hereditary?

Dementia can have a hereditary component, but it is not solely determined by genetics. There are different types of dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease being the most common form. In the case of Alzheimer’s disease, genetics can play a role in determining an individual’s risk. It has not been clarified which form of dementia Mrs. Carter has.

There are two types of Alzheimer’s disease: late-onset and early-onset. Late-onset Alzheimer’s typically develops after the age of 65 and is more common while being less related to genetics. Early-onset Alzheimer’s, which develops before the age of 65, is relatively rare and has a stronger genetic component. If an individual carries one of these genetic mutations, they have a higher chance of developing the disease at a younger age.

Not all cases of dementia are directly linked to genetic factors; other forms of dementia, such as vascular or frontotemporal, have different underlying causes and may not have a strong hereditary component.

What are the stages of dementia?

At the earliest stage of outwardly-visible symptom stage, changes include memory lapses, difficulties with finding words, or organising thoughts. However, individuals can typically still function independently and perform daily activities.

As the illness advances the problems become more pronounced. Individuals may have difficulty remembering recent events or retaining new information. Other symptoms include increased forgetfulness, difficulty with problem-solving, and challenges with language and communication. Patients start to need assistance with tasks and may experience changes in behavior or mood.

Memory loss becomes more severe, and individuals may struggle to recognise close family members or familiar places. They will have difficulty with activities of daily living such as dressing or bathing whilst behavioural symptoms will become more prominent, including agitation, confusion, wandering, and personality changes.

At the most advanced stage of the illness, individuals have severe cognitive decline and may lose the ability to communicate verbally or perform basic self-care tasks independently. They will need full-time assistance with all aspects of daily living. In some cases, they may experience difficulty swallowing, weight loss, and increased vulnerability to infections.