What are the Different Stages of Alzheimer's Disease?
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are seen years after the start of the disease, until the person remains ignorant about the presence of the condition. Symptoms begin to appear as the damage to brain cells increases with progress of the disease. The disease often passes through three stages – mild, moderate, and severe. The change and decline due to the disease happens over several years. The type of symptoms or the progress of the disease may differ depending on the individual. Treatment at the appropriate time may help in improving the quality of life of the person during each stage of the disease.
During the early stages of the disease, the symptoms remain mild. One of the earliest symptoms of the disease is the difficulty to remember things and to make decisions. In the beginning stages, the person may find it hard to be in a new or strange place. Forgetting simple things, like where one has kept the keys or book and having difficulty in solving complex tasks, like planning events can be noted during mild stage.
Common symptoms include:
- Difficulty in choosing the right words
- Being moody
- Difficulty in social interactions
The second stage of Alzheimer’s disease, or the moderate stage, is the longest stage of the disease. The severity of the symptoms and the duration may vary from depending on the individual. It continues for several years, and as the disease progresses, memory loss may occur.
People in this stage of Alzheimer’s disease:
- May not remember family and friends
- Forget the date and day of the week
- Forget details like address or phone number
- May have trouble using the right words at the right time
- Are unable to judge finances and health correctly
During this stage of the disease people may have hallucinations, depression, and anxiety. They may become very angry and violent at times. It would be better to have a care taker along with the person to take care of the day-to-day activities. They may need help to carry on with the routine activities, including dressing, taking medicines, and also to manage he financial matters.
With the progression of the disease, severe symptoms may start appearing. During the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease, the person may gradually forget his or her history completely.
Some of the physical symptoms of the disease during this stage include:
- Inability to speak long sentences
- Difficulty in walking
- Inability to sit up and hold head up
- Inability to remember faces and names
- Habits like wringing hands