Stages Of Alzheimer Disease
The stages of Alzheimer disease usually follow a progressive pattern. But each person moves through the disease stages in his or her own way. Knowing these stages helps healthcare providers and family members make decisions about how to care for someone who has Alzheimer disease.
Preclinical stage. Changes in the brain begin years before a person shows any signs of the disease. This time period is called preclinical Alzheimer disease and it can last for years.
Mild, early stage. Symptoms at this stage include mild forgetfulness. This may seem like the mild forgetfulness that often comes with aging. But it may also include problems with concentration.
A person may still live independently at this stage, but may have problems:
Remembering a name
The person may be aware of memory lapses and their friends, family or neighbors may also notice these difficulties.
Moderate, middle stage. This is typically the longest stage, usually lasting many years. At this stage, symptoms include:
Increasing trouble remembering events
Problems learning new things
Trouble with planning complicated events, like a dinner
Trouble remembering their own name, but not details about their own life, such as address and phone number
Problems with reading, writing, and working with numbers
As the disease progresses, the person may:
Physical changes may occur as well. Some people have sleep problems. Wandering away from home is often a concern.
What Are The Symptoms Of The Last Stages Of Dementia
Answer itFour symptoms of late stage dementia
- Increased frailty. Weight loss and other health issues, such as arthritis or a stroke, can lead the person you’re caring for to become increasingly frail and less mobile.
- Total reliance on others.
- Severe memory loss.
Considering this, what do people with dementia die from?
How many stages of dementia is it?
|Stage 2: Very Mild Cognitive Decline|
|No Dementia||Stage 3: Mild Cognitive Decline|
|Early-stage||Stage 4: Moderate Cognitive Decline|
|Mid-Stage||Stage 5: Moderately Severe Cognitive Decline|
How long does a person have to live with dementia?
eight to ten years
Very Mild Impairment Or Normal Forgetfulness
Alzheimers disease mainly affects older adults, over the age of 65. At this age, its common to have slight functional difficulties like forgetfulness.
But for stage 2 Alzheimers, the decline will happen at a greater rate than similarly aged people without Alzheimers. For example, a person may forget familiar words, a family members name, or where they placed something.
Caregiver support: Symptoms at stage 2 wont interfere with work or social activities. Memory troubles are still very mild and may not be apparent to friends and family.
Signs And Symptoms Of Alzheimer’s Disease
Memory problems are typically one of the first signs of cognitive impairment related to Alzheimers. Some people with memory problems have a condition called mild cognitive impairment . With MCI, people have more memory problems than normal for their age, but their symptoms do not interfere with their everyday lives. Movement difficulties and problems with the sense of smell have also been linked to MCI. Older people with MCI are at greater risk for developing Alzheimers, but not all of them do so. Some may even revert to normal cognition.
The first symptoms of Alzheimers vary from person to person. For many, decline in nonmemory aspects of cognition, such as word-finding, vision/spatial issues, and impaired reasoning or judgment may signal the very early stages of the disease. Researchers are studying biomarkers to detect early changes in the brains of people with MCI and in cognitively normal people who may be at greater risk for Alzheimers. More research is needed before these techniques can be used broadly and routinely to diagnose Alzheimers in a health care providers office.
The Seven Stages Of Alzheimers Disease
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According to the Alzheimers Association, every 65 seconds someone in the US develops Alzheimers Disease. That means the time it will take you to read this article eight people in will develop this disease. 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimers, by 2050 that number is projected to rise to nearly 14 million if a cure is not found. The statistics are staggering.
Alzheimers Disease is a progressive illness that increases in intensity and impact as time goes on. As Sir Francis Bacon said in 1597 , knowledge is power and knowing the Seven Stages of Alzheimers can empower you to adapt for yourself or your loved ones.
While some Alzheimers experts break the disease into three stages , Dr. Barry Reisberg from New York University developed a much more specific identification model with seven distinct stages. While the speed of the progress through the stages is different for each patient, the stages are present for everyone with the disease. As shared on www.alzheimers.net, the Seven Stages are:
Stage 1: No Impairment
During this stage, Alzheimers disease is not detectable, and no memory problems or other symptoms of dementia are evident.
Stage 2: Very Mild Decline
Stage 3: Mild Decline
Patients in Stage 3 will have difficulty in many areas including:
- finding the right word during conversations
- remembering names of new acquaintances
- planning and organizing
Stage 4: Moderate Decline
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The 3 Stages Of Alzheimer’s: What To Expect And What To Do
If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimers disease, you are likely experiencing many different emotions including shock, fear, sadness, and worry. Knowing what to expect and how to plan ahead can provide a sense of control and important peace of mind. Alzheimers disease has three stages: early , middle , and late . Here is what to expect and what to do during each of them.
Stage : Mild Dementia
At this stage, individuals may start to become socially withdrawn and show changes in personality and mood. Denial of symptoms as a defense mechanism is commonly seen in stage 4. Behaviors to look for include:
- Difficulty remembering things about one’s personal history
- Difficulty recognizing faces and people
In stage 4 dementia, individuals have no trouble recognizing familiar faces or traveling to familiar locations. However, patients in this stage will often avoid challenging situations in order to hide symptoms or prevent stress or anxiety.
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Stage : Basic Forgetfulness
No one has perfect memory and it is normal to forget things occasionally, especially as we get older. However, basic forgetfulness that becomes more frequent can be one of the first signs of Alzheimers disease. Oftentimes, the affected individual wont notice their forgetfulness and it is the ones around them that notice the difference. Seeking medical intervention at this point is recommended since early treatment has better outcomes in the long run.
Stage : Moderately Severe Decline
Your loved one might start to lose track of where they are and what time it is. They might have trouble remembering their address, phone number, or where they went to school. They could get confused about what kind of clothes to wear for the day or season.
You can help by laying out their clothing in the morning. It can help them dress by themselves and keep a sense of independence.
If they repeat the same question, answer with an even, reassuring voice. They might be asking the question less to get an answer and more to just know you’re there.
Even if your loved one can’t remember facts and details, they might still be able to tell a story. Invite them to use their imagination at those times.
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Coping With Alzheimer’s Progression
The progression of Alzheimers disease is a mind-bender to deal with. Each stage puts new demands and strains on the patient and their informal and professional caregivers. Education can help immensely throughout this process, so it is important for family members to learn as much as they can about this condition, ask questions of medical professionals and seek out advice and support from other caregivers who have had first-hand experience with Alzheimers. Caring for someone with AD takes a super-human effort, and embarking on this journey alone should not be an option. This is a difficult disease where community support can make all the difference. Be sure to get help for your loved one and get help for yourself.
Stage : No Impairment
Research now reveals that AD begins years, if not decades, before the onset of noticeable symptoms. Genetic research and much more sophisticated medical science will no doubt make this an important and focused area of study as we march into the future, searching for a cure. But, for now, most of us will never know if we are in the earliest stages of the disease. Unfortunately, doctors can only diagnose probable AD once symptoms begin to manifest. In fact, a definitive diagnosis can only be made through the post-mortem examination of brain tissue.
Impact On Families And Carers
In 2019, informal carers spent on average 5 hours per day providing care for people living with dementia. This can be overwhelming . Physical, emotional and financial pressures can cause great stress to families and carers, and support is required from the health, social, financial and legal systems. Fifty percent of the global cost of dementia is attributed to informal care.
Stage : Subjective Memory Lossage Related Forgetfulness
Many people over the age of 65 complain of cognitive and/or functional difficulties. Elderly persons with these symptoms report that they can no longer remember names as easily as they could 5 or 10 years previously they can also have trouble recalling where they have recently placed things.
Various terms have been suggested for this condition, but subjective cognitive decline is presently the widely accepted terminology. These symptoms by definition, are not notable to intimates or other external observers of the person with subjective cognitive decline. Persons with these symptoms decline at higher rates than similarly aged persons and similarly healthy persons who are free of subjective complaints. Research has shown that this stage of subjective cognitive decline lasts 15 years in otherwise healthy persons.
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Scales For Rating Dementia
Rather than simply using early stage,middle-stage, and late-stage dementia as descriptors, there are scales that provide a more comprehensive description. These scales help better understand the different stages of Alzheimers disease based on how well a person thinks and functions . These scales are the Global Deterioration Scale for Assessment of Primary Degenerative Dementia, the Functional Assessment Staging Test, and the Clinical Dementia Rating.
Did You Know?
Global Deterioration Scale / Reisberg Scale
The most commonly used scale is often referred to simply as GDS, or by its more formal name, the Reisberg Scale . The GDS divides into seven stages based on the amount of cognitive decline. This test is most relevant for people who have Alzheimers disease because some other types of dementia do not always include memory loss.
Someone in stages 1-3 does not typically exhibit enough symptoms for a dementia diagnosis. By the time a diagnosis has been made, a dementia patient is typically in stage 4 or beyond. Stage 4 is considered early dementia, stages 5 and 6 are considered middle dementia, and stage 7 is considered late dementia.
|Global Deterioration Scale / Reisberg Scale|
Clinical Dementia Rating
|Clinical Dementia Rating Scale|
|Average duration is 1 year to 2.5 years.|
A Word About Progression
Alzheimers typically progresses slowly and transitions from mild to severe symptoms. The rate of progression varies widely between people. People with Alzheimers live an average of 4 to 8 years after their diagnosis, but some people live more than 20 years.
The risk of progressing to a higher stage increases with age. For example, in a
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How Many Stages Of Alzheimers Disease
six, The No-impairment stage According to Alz.org, people with Alzheimers disease live eight to 10 years after diagnosis, No behavorial impairment, I thought it would beAlzheimers stages: How the disease progresses Preclinical Alzheimers disease, Very severe decline phase, Severe Decline and Very Severe Decline, but again, Moderate Decline, Pre-clinical, with stages commonly referred to as mild , Find out about symptoms that are commonly seen across 3 stages of dementia: early, or seven levels, Mild Decline, Progression through these stages usually lasts from 8 to 10 years, and heart diseases, middle, This is the last phase of Alzheimers disease progression, Other experts break the progression of disease down into just three or four distinct stages.The No-impairment stage 1, and the disease has a growing impact on movement and physiRate of Progression Through Alzheimers Disease StagesThe rate of progression for Alzheimers disease varies widely, people grow more confused and forgetful and begin to need more help with daily activities and selSevere Dementia Due to Alzheimers DiseaseIn the severe stage of Alzheimers disease, people with Alzheimer disease may be unable to talk with family members or know what isThere are three distinct stages of Alzheimers disease: Mild-early stage Moderate-middle stage Severe-late stageThe 7 stages are: No Impairment, A patient may experience any number or all of the symptoms that mark each stage.
Stage : Moderately Severe Dementia
When the patient begins to forget the names of their children, spouse, or primary caregivers, they are most likely entering stage 6 of dementia and will need full time care. In the sixth stage, patients are generally unaware of their surroundings, cannot recall recent events, and have skewed memories of their personal past. Caregivers and loved ones should watch for:
- Delusional behavior
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Health Environmental And Lifestyle Factors
Research suggests that a host of factors beyond genetics may play a role in the development and course of Alzheimers. There is a great deal of interest, for example, in the relationship between cognitive decline and vascular conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, as well as conditions such as diabetes and obesity. Ongoing research will help us understand whether and how reducing risk factors for these conditions may also reduce the risk of Alzheimers.
A nutritious diet, physical activity, social engagement, and mentally stimulating pursuits have all been associated with helping people stay healthy as they age. These factors might also help reduce the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimers. Researchers are testing some of these possibilities in clinical trials.
Moderate Dementia Or Moderately Severe Decline
Stage 5 lasts about 1 1/2 years and requires a lot of support. Those who dont have enough support often experience feelings of anger and suspicion.
People in this stage will remember their own names and close family members, but major events, weather conditions, or their current address can be difficult to recall. Theyll also show some confusion regarding time or place and have difficulty counting backward.
Caregiver support: People will need assistance with daily tasks and can no longer live independently. Personal hygiene and eating wont be an issue yet, but they may have trouble picking the right clothing for the weather or taking care of finances.
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Stage : Age Associated Memory Impairment
This stage features occasional lapses of memory most frequently seen in:
- Forgetting where one has placed an object
- Forgetting names that were once very familiar
Oftentimes, this mild decline in memory is merely normal age-related cognitive decline, but it can also be one of the earliest signs of degenerative dementia. At this stage, signs are still virtually undetectable through clinical testing. Concern for early onset of dementia should arise with respect to other symptoms.
Stage Five: Moderately Severe Stage
As Alzheimers progresses from moderate to moderately severe, people with the condition tend to develop signature characteristics over a couple of years:
- Inability to choose what clothes to wear
- Deteriorating cleanliness, beginning with oral hygiene
- Forgetting to flush or wipe
Alongside these key symptoms, memory worsens, and behavior changes continue. There may be signs of frustration, shame, or continued paranoia.
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Why Knowing Life Expectancy Is Useful
Knowing what to expect, including life expectancy helps with planning. Someone predicted to survive for five or six years, as opposed to two years, will want to make more extensive plans, including getting an estate in order, activity planning, and budget. Knowing how quickly the disease is expected to progress symptomatically can impact care decisions. If the disease is predicted to come on very quickly, for example, then skipping traditional assisted living and looking into memory care or a nursing home might be the best option.
Knowing when full-time care becomes a requirement, either at-home or in a memory care residence, is especially useful given the high cost of care. It is estimated that 50% of nursing home residents have some level of dementia and over 60% of nursing home residents care is paid for by Medicaid. Medicaid eligibility is complicated, and families can spend up to 5 years waiting for a loved one with dementia to become Medicaid-eligible. Therefore, knowing how soon care is required can make a huge financial difference.
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Stage One: Preclinical Or No Impairment
Alzheimers disease begins before any symptoms become noticeable. People in this stage can function independently and are usually unaware that they have the disease. Individuals can remain here for years or even decades before symptoms become apparent. People with preclinical Alzheimers may stay independent if they have no other issues preventing them from doing so.
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