Alzheimer's Disease

By Amanda Bittner

What is Alzheimer's?

Alzheimer's Disease is a slow-worsening illness that slowly shuts down the brain. There are 7 different stages, with the illness worsening as the stages go up. It makes you forget things that you would not forget if you didn't have Alzheimer's disease, like not knowing where you are and forgetting how to do every day tasks.
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The seven stages of Alzheimer's Disease

1. No Impairment

Alzheimer’s disease is not detectable and no memory problems or other symptoms are evident

2. Very Mild Decline

The senior may notice minor memory problems or lose things around the house, although not to the point where the memory loss can easily be distinguished from normal age. They will still do well on memory tests and it is still not very likely to be detected by family or loved ones.

3. Mild Decline

At this stage, some of the senior's family and friends may begin to notice memory problems. Performance on memory tests are affected and physicians will be able to detect Alzheimer's

4. Moderate Decline

In stage four of Alzheimer’s disease physicians are able to detect clear cut symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Seniors may forget things such as how to pay the bills, family history, and simple math such as adding and subtracting.

5. Moderately Severe Decline

During the fifth stage of Alzheimer’s, patients begin to need help with many day to day activities. People in stage five of the disease may experience difficulties with

  • Dressing appropriately
  • Recalling simple details about themselves such as their own phone number
  • Significant confusion

6. Severe Decline

Patients with the sixth stage of Alzheimer’s disease need constant supervision and frequently require professional care. Symptoms include

  • Confusion or unawareness of environment and surroundings
  • Major personality changes and potential behavior problems
  • The need for assistance with activities of daily living such as toileting and bathing
  • Inability to recognize faces of close friends and relatives
  • Loss of bowel and bladder control
  • Wandering

7. Very Severe Decline

Stage seven is the final stage of Alzheimer’s disease. Because Alzheimer’s disease is a terminal illness, patients in stage seven are nearing death. In this stage, patients lose ability to respond to their environment or communicate. They may still be able to utter words and phrases, but they still have no insight into their condition and need assistance with all activities of daily living.

How is Alzheimer's caused?

Alzheimer's is caused by brain cell death. It is a neurodegenerative disease, which means there is progressive brain cell death that happens over a course of time. (The 7 stages)

How can we prevent Alzheimer's disease?

We can prevent Alzheimer's disease by being physically active, eating a healthy and balanced diet, maintaining good cardiovascular health, and exercising the brain with different mind games.

10 Facts About Alzheimer's

1. Most Common Form of Dementia

2. If You’re a Woman, You’re at Higher Risk

3. Your Heart and Your Head Are Closely Related

4. Education Can Lower Your Risk

5. AD Is a Leading Cause of Death

6. Alzheimer’s Disease Is Costly

7. Discovered in the Last Century

8. Linked With a Loss of Sense of Smell

9. Life Expectancy Varies

10. Unique Among Causes of Death

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