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What are the main stages of dementia?

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Dementia is not in itself a disease, but is rather a term describing a group of symptoms most typically associated with Alzheimer's disease, reports WebMD. The stages of Alzheimer's disease show a progression from no impairment to mild, moderate, and severe impairment, according to Alzheimer's Association.

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Dementia is the loss of mental ability severe enough to interfere with an individual's normal daily functioning, according to WebMD. Many causes of dementia are treatable, but others, including Alzheimer's disease, involve a progressive degeneration of nerve cells in the brain.

All individuals affected by Alzheimer's do not experience the same symptoms, and the disease does not necessarily progress at the same rate for everyone, according to Alzheimer's Association. The earliest stages of Alzheimer's show no evident impairment from the disease.

In the middle stages of Alzheimer's, mild to moderate cognitive decline is apparent, claims Alzheimer's Association. A person's friends, family and co-workers may begin to notice differences. Medical examinations of patients in the moderate stages of Alzeheimers reveal problems involving memory and concentration, and sufferers may become moody or withdrawn in situations which are socially or mentally challenging.

In later stages of Alzheimer's disease, patients require help with day-to-day activities and eventually lose the ability to cope with their environment, according to Alzheimer's Association. Significant behavior and personality changes occur, muscles become rigid, and swallowing is impaired, requiring round-the-clock supervision and care.

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