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What are typical symptoms at different stages of Alzheimer's disease?

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Quick Answer

Typical symptoms of Alzheimer's disease at different stages include increasing memory loss, confusion, impaired judgement and other symptoms of dementia, states Mayo Clinic. Dementia refers to a condition of disrupted mental and social capabilities that impair normal activity.

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Alzheimer's disease can be present before the emergence of noticeable symptoms, reports Mayo Clinic. This stage of Alzheimer's disease is called preclinical Alzheimer's disease, and it can persist for years or decades before signs of cognitive impairment are observed. Mild cognitive impairment is the first stage of Alzheimer's with recognizable symptoms. These include lapses in memory and decision-making abilities that are not sufficient to interfere with normal activities.

The mild-dementia stage of Alzheimer's disease is usually when Alzheimer's is diagnosed, asserts Mayo Clinic. Medical professionals and family members become aware of significant difficulties pertaining to memory and cognitive ability during this stage. Persons with mild dementia often become irritable and begin to withdraw from social interactions.

Moderate dementia due to Alzheimer's disease is characterized by increasing problems with memory, confusion and impaired judgment, states Mayo Clinic. Significant personality changes and aggressive outbursts are often present, and patients usually begin to require assistance with daily activities.

Severe dementia occurs in late-stage Alzheimer's disease, and it generally involves the patient becoming unable to communicate coherently or perform any daily activities without assistance, according to Mayo Clinic. Incontinence, inability to swallow and muscle rigidity frequently occur during this stage. Complications of Alzheimer's disease, such as pneumonia or other infections, are often the cause of death.

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