What Are the Stages of Alzheimer’s?
What are the stages of Alzheimer’s? This is a frequently asked question because everyone seems to know what the early stages are, but not so much what the later stages are. The confusion comes from the fact that there are different types of Alzheimer’s. A lot of people believe that if they notice any changes in their memory or behavioral abilities that it is Alzheimer’s. Actually, there are four stages of Alzheimer’s and the descriptions of them are as follows:
In the first stage, the person may have difficulty paying attention, having short-term memory loss and repeating things. The second stage starts when the person starts repeating phrases or words that he or she has heard many times before. They also find it difficult to remember where they put things or which object they are holding. In the third stage, the person’s cognitive ability is beginning to decline and his or her verbal communication is reduced to limited speech.
The fourth and final stage is called the dementia stage. When the person reaches this point, his or her cognitive ability has totally collapsed. Alzheimer’s disease moves from the first stage to the second one and then from the second to the third one. If it advances to the third stage, it is already considered to be an Alzheimer’s disease.
What are the stages of Alzheimer’s? There are actually no specific times in a person’s life when he or she is at risk of developing Alzheimer’s. The development of this disorder typically begins in the late thirties or early forties. However, the earlier the disease is detected, the better are the chances of stopping it. In addition, there are some people who show no signs of having Alzheimer’s while they are actually experiencing the third or fourth stage.
How are the stages diagnosed? In Alzheimer’s cases, the doctor checks the person’s mental status with several different types of tests, such as cognitive function tests and imaging tests. Another test is conducted using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). After the results of these tests are in, the doctor can conclude whether the person is experiencing either a mild or a severe case of Alzheimer’s.
How are the first stage and the second stage defined? In the first stage, which is the mild stage, the person exhibits minor signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s. The person may suffer from simple forgetfulness or minor memory problems. In the second stage, which is the moderate stage, the person exhibits moderate to severe cognitive impairment and also shows signs and symptoms of memory loss or confusion.
Since the first stage is the least severe among all the stages, it is the shortest one. Alzheimer’s patients in the first stage usually recover on their own. However, in cases where the first stage does not improve, the patient will need to undergo one of the following treatments in order for him or her to be able to have a good quality of life: the Stage I and Stage II Alzheimer’s therapies; Stage III and Stage IV Neuroimaging, Neuropsychological Assessment and Cognitive Therapy. When do you need the services of a professional to help treat your Alzheimer’s disease?
The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is usually done based on a psychological assessment. If during the psychological assessment, the individual’s IQ is found to be below normal, it is then determined that he or she may have the first stage of Alzheimer’s disease. If there are several other mental disorders present, then the assessment will be conducted on a level three basis – the first stage is reached, but if the patient still has an IQ above normal, then he or she probably falls in the second stage. In the third stage, the patient will most likely show signs of memory loss, will experience flu-like symptoms and loss of communication skills. The last stage is the one where the person experiences extreme mental decline and will most likely die from Alzheimer’s disease if not treated properly.