The Stages Of Alzheimers Explained

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Alzheimers is a progressive disease that can take up to a complete two decades to fully run its course. The disease moves forward at its own pace, leaving devastation in its path. With an estimated five million Americans diagnoses with this condition, there is little doubt the condition has impacted a tremendous number of people. How fast or slow the condition will progress is never known, but there are marked stages of Alzheimers.

The stages of Alzheimers number at seven, although they are often clumped into three - early, middle and end. Each one of the seven comes in its own time with no two patients following exactly the same path. There are some stereotypical markers for each of the stages of Alzheimers, however.

The stages of Alzheimers and their symptoms are:

Stage 1 - There are no visible symptoms during the earliest formation of Alzheimers.

Stage 2 - This stage will present with very minor memory issues, but these problems are quite easily brushed off to distraction, normal forgetfulness or other similar causes. The signs here can include such things as misplacing items, forgetting words that should be familiar and so on. The symptoms will not likely be noticeable to anyone since they are so easy to brush off.

Stage 3 - It is at this point some people are diagnosed. The symptoms here can include such things as forgetting names, misplacing objects, loss of ability to plan, poor performance at work or in social settings and even an inability to retain information or remember names.

Stage 4 - Diagnosis is often made during this stage, but not always. Some characterize this stages as mild Alzheimers. It is here that loss of personal history might begin along with an inability to handle challenging mental tasks.

Stage 5 - It is very difficult to deny that problems exist when this stage is reached. Also known as "moderate" Alzheimers, this stage delivers large memory gaps, difficulty with normal social functioning and even the inability to recall names of family, friends and perhaps even the patient's own name. Date and time confusion might also be present.

Stage 6 - This is considered an extension of the mid stage, however, the symptoms will become quite harsh at this point. Some patients will have trouble dressing and feeding themselves. It is very likely they will be unable to recall names and they might be prone to wandering.

Stage 7 - This is the final of the stages of Alzheimers. This one delivers some very serious blows for the patient, but more generally the family members involved. Symptoms in this stage include loss of ability to recognize speech, total inability to eat and toilet without help and even an inability sit without help, smile and more.

The stages of Alzheimers progress at their own pace for each patient. The progression has been noted to take as much as 20 years, but has also been seen in as little as five. There is no way to tell in advance how slow or fast the stages will be progressed through. The only thing that is certain at this point is that no cure is known and treatments to slow the progression don't work for everyone and they do not work indefinitely.

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