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What Are The Four Stages Of Alzheimer’s

Mild Alzheimers Or Moderate Decline

Four Stages of Dementia: The Late Stage of Dementia

Stage 4 lasts about two years and marks the beginning of diagnosable Alzheimers disease. You or your loved one will have more trouble with complex but everyday tasks. Mood changes such as withdrawal and denial are more evident. Decreased emotional response is also frequent, especially in a challenging situation.

New signs of decline that appear in stage 4 may include:

  • losing memory of personal history
  • trouble with handling finances and bills
  • inability to count backward from 100 by 7s

A clinician will also look for a decline in areas mentioned in stage 3, but theres often no change since then.

Caregiver support: Itll still be possible for someone to recall weather conditions, important events, and addresses. But they may ask for help with other tasks such as writing checks, ordering food, and buying groceries.

How Important Are The Stages Of Dementia

The stages of dementia are just a guide and there is nothing significant about the number three. Equally, dementia doesnt follow an exact or certain set of steps that happen in the same way for every person with dementia.

It can be difficult to tell when a persons dementia has progressed from one stage to another because:

  • some symptoms may appear in a different order to the stages described in this factsheet, or not at all
  • the stages may overlap the person may need help with some aspects of everyday life but manage other tasks and activities on their own
  • some symptoms, particularly those linked to behaviours, may develop at one stage and then reduce or even disappear later on. Other symptoms, such as memory loss and problems with language and thinking, tend to stay and get worse with time.

It is natural to ask which stage a person is at or what might happen next. But it is more important to focus on the person in the present moment. This includes their needs and how they can live well, and how to help them with this.

For more support on living well with dementia see The dementia guide: living well after diagnosis or Caring for a person with dementia: a practical guide .

And for more information about treatment and support for the different types of dementia go to the following pages:

Stage : Others Notice A Change In Your Attire And Hygiene

In stage five, loved ones may remark that our outfit is not appropriate for the occasion or weather. They may also tell us that our hygiene habits have changed we do not bathe as much as we have historically. These moderate memory problems may not be noticeable to us and we will likely feel that our outfit and hygiene are fine. At this point, a doctor can measure a change in our cognitive ability since our last appointment. Our diagnosis may become moderate cognitive impairment.

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Stage : Very Mild Decline

The senior may notice minor memory problems or lose things around the house, although not to the point where the memory loss can easily be distinguished from normal age-related memory loss. The person will still do well on memory tests and the disease is unlikely to be detected by loved ones or physicians.

Main Causes Of Dementia

What are the 7 Stages of Alzheimer

Dementias can be caused by the death of brain cells, and neurodegenerative disease, the progressive death of brain cells that occurs over time, is associated with most dementias. However, it is not known whether it is dementia that causes brain cell death or if brain cell death causes dementia.

Besides the progressive death of brain cells, like that seen in Alzheimers disease, dementia can be caused by head trauma, stroke, or brain tumor, among others.

Vascular dementia : it results from the death of brain cells caused by conditions such as cerebrovascular disease, for example,

Dementia can also be caused by:

Prion diseases for example, CJD .

HIV infection: It is not known exactly how the virus damages brain cells, but it is known to occur.

Reversible factors: Some dementias can be treated by reversing the effects of underlying causes, including drug interactions, depression, vitamin deficiency, and thyroid abnormalities.

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What Are The Signs Of Alzheimer’s Disease

Scientists continue to unravel the complex brain changes involved in the onset and progression of Alzheimers disease. It seems likely that damage to the brain starts a decade or more before memory and other cognitive problems appear. During this preclinical stage of Alzheimers disease, people seem to be symptom-free, but toxic changes are taking place in the brain.

Damage occurring in the brain of someone with Alzheimers disease begins to show itself in very early clinical signs and symptoms. For most people with Alzheimersthose who have the late-onset varietysymptoms first appear in their mid-60s. Signs of early-onset Alzheimers begin between a persons 30s and mid-60s.

The first symptoms of Alzheimers vary from person to person. Memory problems are typically one of the first signs of cognitive impairment related to Alzheimers disease. Decline in non-memory aspects of cognition, such as word-finding, vision/spatial issues, and impaired reasoning or judgment, may also signal the very early stages of Alzheimers disease. And some people may be diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. As the disease progresses, people experience greater memory loss and other cognitive difficulties.

Alzheimers disease progresses in several stages: preclinical, mild , moderate, and severe .

Very Mild Impairment Or Normal Forgetfulness

Alzheimers disease affects mainly older adults, over the age of 65 years. 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, they 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.

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The Second Stage: Moderate Alzheimers Dementia

In most cases of moderate Alzheimers dementia, the disease has spread to areas of the brain that control language, reasoning, sensory processing, and conscious thought, causing previous symptoms to become more pronounced.

Damage to the brain can make it difficult for people to say what theyre thinking or complete basic tasks, such as paying bills.

But they may still remember important details about their personal history.

This is typically the longest stage, potentially lasting for many years.

Symptoms of this period may include:

  • Increased memory loss and confusion, including forgetting names or personally significant events
  • Trouble recognizing family and friends
  • Inability to learn new things or cope with new situations
  • Hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia
  • Loss of impulse control, such as undressing at inappropriate times or using vulgar language
  • Repetitive statements or movements, such as hand-wringing or tissue-shredding
  • Trouble carrying out activities that require multiple steps, such as getting dressed
  • Difficulty reading, writing, or working with numbers
  • Incontinence
  • Behavioral problems, such as moodiness or inappropriate anger outbursts
  • Restlessness, agitation, anxiety, tearfulness, and increased risk of wandering, especially in the late afternoon or evening

Moderate Dementia Or Moderately Severe Decline

Four Stages of Dementia: The Final Stage

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 suspiciousness. 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: Theyll 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 : You Notice A Change In Your Ability To Plan

In stage four, complex tasks, those that take several steps to complete, become more challenging. We may be making a favorite recipe and need to check the cookbook frequently when we havent needed it before. We may come home from the grocery store with things we do not need as well as duplicates of things we already had, even though we brought a list. It will feel harder to keep things straight. At this point, a physician may make a diagnosis of Mild-Cognitive Impairment.

The Progression And Stages Of Dementia

Dementia is progressive. This means symptoms may be relatively mild at first but they get worse with time. Dementia affects everyone differently, however it can be helpful to think of dementia progressing in ‘three stages’.

  • You are here: The progression and stages of dementia
  • The progression and stages of dementia

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    What Should You Do If Your Loved One Has Alzheimers Disease

    Knowing how far along the Alzheimers disease dementia has advanced is significant, but thats only the beginning. You can talk more easily with your loved ones physicians and ensure theyre getting the treatment they require once you know how far along the disease has progressed.

    You may also get medical supplies, such as a wheelchair, learn about methods to handle symptoms or plan for extra help, such as assisted living care.

    Alzheimers Association

    Alzheimers disease is the No. 5 cause of death among people aged 65 and older. The National Alzheimers Association predicts that about one eighth of Americans in that age group has Alzheimers disease.

    different stages

    Caregivers & Alzheimers: Learn to spot early indicators and symptoms of Alzheimers disease, as well as what to anticipate at different stages.

    This blogs goal is to provide family caregivers and health providers with a better knowledge of the various phases of dementia and a description of the diseases progression through its stages.

    Lets go through Dr. Reisbergs stages in detail based on the concepts of Dr. Reisberg to help you better comprehend them. These scales can be used to measure how well a person thinks and functions .

    Caring For A Loved One With Alzheimers


    Because the Alzheimers stages timeline can vary drastically from person to person, it can be difficult to decide when should someone with Alzheimers go into care. People with Alzheimers disease generally live between three and eight years after diagnosis, but patients can survive 20 years or more. Alzheimers progressively worsens over many years. So catching the symptoms as early as possible is critical in giving your loved one the maximum amount of time.

    When assisting your loved one with the activities of their daily lives is now longer tenable, its time to look into Alzheimers care facilities. In many cases, the need for advanced assistance becomes apparent around Stage Four and Stage Five. For example, when dementia becomes so severe the person isnt mobile enough to make it to the bathroom by themselves, or when a person begins wandering out of the house and risks serious injury, their caregiver must be able to lift the person without hurting themselves. Alzheimers care facilities have staff specifically trained to assist people with moderate to severe dementia for these exact scenarios.

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    Stages Of Alzheimers Disease

    The following is an excerpt from our upcoming ebook, Living Well with Alzheimers Disease, available for free on our website on November 1, 2013. This chapter outlines the stages of Alzheimers in a couple different ways.

    There are several systems by which professionals gauge Alzheimers stages. Because each brain is unique, the progression of the disease varies from person to person which symptoms appear first, the progression of symptoms, and the length of each stage. Because of individual variations in the progression of AD, many professionals use loose terms to define Alzheimers disease stages: mild or early, moderate or middle, severe or late, and end of life. Another system breaks it down further into seven Alzheimers stages based on the amount of cognitive decline. Below is a chart describing how the two systems compare:

    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.

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    What Causes Alzheimer’s Disease To Progress So Quickly

    The progression of Alzheimers disease varies widely between individuals, with most people living with the condition for between 3 and 11 years after the initial diagnosis. In some cases, people may survive for more than 20 years. When Alzheimers is detected early, there are possible treatments that can help to slow the progression of the disease and contribute to a longer life expectancy.

    It is therefore crucial to plan for the future and follow the progression of the disease through each stage. Alzheimers disease first begins with physical changes in the brain. This can happen at a gradual pace before any noticeable symptoms appear. In fact, this pre-clinical Alzheimers disease stage can begin 10 to 15 years before any symptoms appear.

    Stage Six: Severe Decline

    Four Stages of Dementia: The Early Stage

    In Stage Six of the seven stages of Alzheimers, also known as Middle Dementia, the person with Alzheimers will require substantial assistance in their day-to-day lives. The person will have significant memory loss and likely forget the names of family members and close friends. Simple tasks become difficult in this stage, such as:

    • Basic counting
    • Speech
    • Controlling bowels and bladder

    Its not uncommon for people in Stage Six to experience increased anxiety and delusions. Wandering is also a risk in Stage Six.

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    Four Commonly Used Medications Reverse Alzheimer’s Disease In Mice

    Institute for Research in Biomedicine
    Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia in Western societies and it is estimated that 24 million people worldwide have this condition. Researchers have managed to reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in mice by administering drugs currently used to treat hypertension and inflammation in humans.

    Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia in Western societies and it is estimated that 24 million people worldwide have this condition. ICREA researcher Dr. Patrick Aloy, head of the Structural Bioinformatics and Network Biology lab at IRB Barcelona, has headed a study that has managed to reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in mice by administering drugs currently used to treat hypertension and inflammation in humans.

    In this study, the scientists led by Dr. Aloy have characterised three stages of Alzheimer’s disease, namely initial, intermediate and advanced. For each of these stages, they have analysed the behaviour of the animals, studied the effects on the brain and performed a molecular analysis to measure gene expression and protein levels.

    Chemical Checker: detection of the most promising molecules

    Early diagnosis of the disease

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    Stage : Others Begin To Notice Change

    In stage three, mild decline will begin with changes in how we respond to high-demand situations. These changes will be observable by a loved one or co-worker. For example, we may forget recurring essential meetings or appointments. We may notice it harder to perform complex tasks at work the way we used to. If we travel somewhere new, we may get lost easier. We may have a more challenging time navigating to a new spot. Like stage two, there can be many reasons for these changes other than dementia, such as stress or other health factors.

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    Facts About Alzheimer Disease

    Alzheimer disease is becoming more common as the general population gets older and lives longer. Alzheimer disease usually affects people older than 65. A small number of people have early-onset Alzheimer disease, which starts when they are in their 30s or 40s.

    People live for an average of 8 years after their symptoms appear. But the disease can progress quickly in some people and slowly in others. Some people live as long as 20 years with the disease.

    No one knows what causes Alzheimer disease. Genes, environment, lifestyle, and overall health may all play a role.

    The Third Stage: Severe Alzheimers Dementia

    Cost of Alzheimer

    People with severe Alzheimers dementia are completely dependent on others for around-the-clock care.

    They become increasingly unable to respond to their environment, communicate, and perform basic daily activities, such as dressing, eating, or bathing. They become bedridden or chair-bound. Eventually, they become unable to control movement.

    This stage may last from several weeks to several years.

    Other symptoms of advanced Alzheimers may include:

    • Seizures

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    Beyond Memory Loss: How To Handle The Other Symptoms Of Alzheimer’s

    There is a lot of talk about the emotional pain patients and caregivers suffer when a loved one loses memories to Alzheimers. But what about the other symptoms? Here are tips from a Johns Hopkins expert on what to watch for and how to manage.

    #TomorrowsDiscoveries: From Dysfunctional Cells to Disease Dr. Rong Li

    The First Stage: Mild Alzheimers Dementia

    A person experiencing the earliest symptoms of Alzheimers disease may still be able to work, drive, take part in social activities, and otherwise live independently.

    But they may begin to experience problems with memory or concentration. They may have trouble retaining new information remembering the name of someone theyve just met, for instance, or recalling material theyve just read.

    Unfortunately, this symptom is often dismissed as a normal part of aging or the result of stress, delaying diagnosis and treatment.

    Other common symptoms of mild Alzheimers include:

    • Misplacing items
    • Language problems, such as having trouble coming up with the right words
    • Trouble planning, organizing, or solving problems
    • Losing a sense of time
    • Vision-related problems, such as with depth perception and color contrast
    • Increasingly poor judgment leading to bad decisions
    • Mood and personality changes, such as becoming confused, anxious, irritable, or depressed
    • Difficulty completing familiar home, work, or leisure tasks, such as managing a budget
    • Withdrawal from work or social engagements

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