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Thursday, March 5, 2015
Stages of Alzheimer's Disease
How many stages of Alzheimer's are there?
Many people think of the disease in three phases: mild, moderate and severe. It is important to keep in mind that each individual progresses at his or her own rate, and that the stages overlap. There can be times when an individual with AD will not be able to do a simple task and yet do very well on a more complicated task. Mild symptoms generally include: confusion and memory loss, disorientation (getting lost in familiar surroundings), problems with routine tasks and changes in personality and judgment. Moderate symptoms generally include: difficulties with activities of daily living (such as feeding and bathing), anxiety, suspiciousness, agitation, sleep disturbances, wandering, pacing and difficulty recognizing family and friends. Severe symptoms include: loss of speech, loss of appetite (weight loss), loss of bladder and bowel control, and total dependence on the caregiver. We again ask you to keep in mind that each person with Alzheimer`s disease displays an individualized set of symptoms at each stage. Additionally, the speed at which the severity of the illness progresses varies with each individual.
Paula K Ogrocki, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University