Stages Of Alzheimers Disease


A condition that mainly affects the brain functions, Alzheimer’s disease is actually a form of dementia. A person has dementia when a complex group of conditions develops, causing the gradual destruction of the brain cells, leading to progressive decline in the person’s mental function. Being a common form of this particular brain disorder, Alzheimer’s disease is also characterized by a progressive destruction of the patient’s brain cells. This leads to damage and eventually complete loss of memory and learning abilities, reasoning skills, decision making, communication, and even the ability to carry out daily activities.

Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. However, new treatments have been discovered, due to the deepening insight scientists have of the biology of the disease. One of these insights is the fact that the disease seems to progress in stages – Alzheimer stages.

There are seven Alzheimer stages documented by experts based on common patterns of symptom progression. These Alzheimer stages correspond in some way to the underlying degeneration of the nerve cells, particularly those that involve learning and memory. As the disease gradually spreads to other cells, the degeneration begins to affect other cognitive functions, such as thinking, judgment, and behavior.

Alzheimer Stages 1: No Impairment

The first of the seven Alzheimer stages exhibit no impairment of the normal functions of the individual patient. Because of this, there is no way that health care professionals may identify any tell-tale signs of Alzheimer’s in the individual during a medical interview at this stage.

Alzheimer Stages 2: Very Mild Cognitive Decline

Some may consider the cognitive decline in this particular stage of the Alzheimer stages as normal, especially if the patient is of an age where mild cognitive decline is to be expected, i.e. persons aged 60 or older. Signs include memory lapses, such as forgetting familiar words or names or the location of keys, eyeglasses, and other everyday objects. These lapses are not apparent during the medical interview or to friends, family, and co-workers.

Alzheimer Stages 3: Mild Cognitive Decline

In some people, this stage can be diagnosed. It is at this stage that friends, family, and co-workers begin to notice deficiencies.

Alzheimer Stages 4: Moderate Cognitive Decline

This is known as the mild or early stage Alzheimer’s disease where the problems become clear cut after a careful medical interview.

Alzheimer Stages 5: Moderately Severe Cognitive Decline

The mid-stage of Alzheimer’s disease shows major gaps in memory and deficits in cognitive function. Patient may start to require some assistance in doing day to day activities.

Alzheimer Stages 6: Severe Cognitive Decline

Difficulties in memory continue to worsen. It is at this stage that changes in personality start to emerge.

Alzheimer Stages 7: Very Severe Cognitive Decline

The final stage when individuals lose the ability to respond to their environment. In addition, they also lose the ability to speak and ultimately, the ability to control movement.