Alzheimer’s disease usually proceeds in three stages: the early Alzheimer stage, the middle Alzheimer stage and the late Alzheimer stage. Alzheimer’s disease manifests in different forms and variations for different people, so each person may experience slight different symptoms and progression of the disease.
Overview of Alzheimer’s stages progression
In general, Alzheimer’s disease symptoms worsen over time, but the speed of the disease progress changes between person to person. The changes that happen on the level of the brain cells usually begin many years before any external signs show. This period is usually referred to as the “preclinical Alzheimer’s disease”.
These are the stages of Alzheimer’s, they show how different abilities are impacted once the damage of the brain is big enough to start having external indications:
Early stage Alzheimer’s
In the early stage of Alzheimer, the person is still capable of functioning independently in general. The main symptom of the early Alzheimer’s stage is short term memory loss, especially in regards to language: forgetting words for example, and also forgetting the locations of everyday objects.
Early signs of Alzheimer
- Coming up with right word or name
- Remembering names of new people
- Forgetting what has just been said
- Losing or forgetting objects (keys, groceries, etc.)
Middle stage Alzheimer’s:
The middle stage of Alzheimer is usually the longest stage and at this stage the person suffering from Alzheimer will need more assistance, attention and care from family and caretakers.
Main symptoms of Middle stage Alzheimer’s:
- Forgetting big events from the person’s history (weddings, children, etc.)
- Emotional swings and moody behaviour, especially in social situations
- Forgetting personal information such as the person’s phone number or address
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Extreme personality and behavioural changes, like being suspicious, paranoid or compulsive regarding certain behaviours (like hand washing)
Late stage Alzheimer’s:
In the late stage Alzheimer, the dementia symptoms are highly severe. The person might lose its ability to respond appropriately to its environment and the situation. It becomes very different to have a conversation and also to control movement.
Main symptoms of Late stage Alzheimer’s:
- The person with late stage Alzheimer requires 24/7 assistance
- Complete loss of awareness of recent events as well as their environment
- Degrade in physical abilities such as walking, sitting and swallowing.
- Become highly vulnerable to infections such as Pneumonia.