Thursday, December 29, 2016

The general stages of Alzheimer’s disease

Written by Mary Ellen Ellis and Valencia Higuera
Medically Reviewed by
Timothy J. Legg, PhD, CRNP on November 21, 2016

The typical progression of Alzheimer’s disease is:

Average time frame
mild, or early stage
2 to 4 years
moderate, or middle stage
2 to 10 years
severe, or late stage
1 to 3 years


Doctors also use Dr. Barry Resiberg’s seven major clinical stages from the “Global Deterioration Scale” to help with diagnosis. There is no universally agreed upon staging system, so healthcare providers may use the one that they are most familiar with.


Mild impairment or decline

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s are less clear during stage 3. While the entire stage lasts about seven years, the symptoms will slowly become clearer over a period of two to four years. Only people close to someone in this stage may notice the signs. Work quality will decline, and they may have trouble learning new skills.

Other examples of stage 3 signs include:

·         getting lost even when traveling a familiar route

·         finding it hard to remember the right words or names

·         being unable to remember what you just read

·         not remembering new names or people

·         misplacing or losing a valuable object

·         decreasing concentration during testing

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