Alzheimers Home > Stages of Alzheimer's

There are three Alzheimer's stages: mild, moderate, and severe. Each of the three stages is characterized by different symptoms. A person with mild Alzheimer's disease may have difficulty learning new things or forming new memories. Someone with moderate Alzheimer's may be unable to recognize family members. Severe Alzheimer's may cause such symptoms as seizures, loss of bowel or bladder control, and weight loss.

Stages of Alzheimer's: An Overview

Alzheimer's disease develops slowly and causes changes in the brain long before there are obvious changes in a person's memory, thinking, use of words, or behavior. Alzheimer's stages include:
 
  • Mild Alzheimer's disease
  • Moderate Alzheimer's disease
  • Severe Alzheimer's disease.
 

Mild Alzheimer's Disease

A person with mild Alzheimer's disease may:
 
  • Lose zest for life.
 
  • Lose recent memory without a change in appearance or casual conversation.
 
  • Lose the ability to make judgments concerning money.
 
  • Have difficulty with new learning and making new memories.
 
  • Have trouble finding words. He or she may substitute or make up words that sound like or mean something like the forgotten word.
 
  • May stop talking to avoid making mistakes.
 
  • Have a shorter attention span and less motivation to stay with an activity.
 
  • Easily lose his or her way going to familiar places.
 
  • Resist change or new things.
 
  • Have trouble organizing and thinking logically.
 
  • Ask repetitive questions.
 
  • Withdraw, lose interest, or become irritable. He or she may not be as sensitive to others' feelings or become uncharacteristically angry when frustrated or tired.
 
  • Avoid making decisions. For example, when asked what he or she wants to eat, says, "I'll have what she is having."
 
  • Take longer to do routine chores, becoming upset if rushed or if something unexpected happens.
 
  • Forget to pay, pay too much, or forget how to pay. For instance, he or she may hand the checkout person a wallet instead of the correct amount of money.
 
  • Forget to eat, eat only one kind of food, or eat constantly.
 
  • Lose or misplace things by hiding them in odd places or forget where things go. For example, the person may put clothes in the dishwasher.
 
  • Hoard things of no value.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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