As you may already know, the course of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms may vary. A seven stage system to describe the different phases of the disease was developed by Barry Reisberg, M.D., clinical director of the New York University School of Medicine’s Silberstein Aging and Dementia Research Center. The seven stages are categorized as follows:
Stage 1: No impairment (Normal function)
Stage 2: Very mild cognitive decline (may be normal age-related changes or earliest signs of Alzheimer’s disease)
Stage 3: Mild cognitive decline (early-stage Alzheimer’s can be diagnosed in some, but not all, individuals with these symptoms)
Stage 4: Moderate cognitive decline (Mild or early-state Alzheimer’s disease)
Stage 5: Moderately severe cognitive decline (moderate or mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease)
Stage 6: Severe cognitive decline (moderately severe or mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease)
Stage 7: Very severe cognitive decline (severe or late-stage Alzheimer’s disease)
Each stage has its own set of characteristics that you can expect to see. The Alzheimer’s Association explains that not every individual will experience the same symptoms or progress at the same rate. However, it is helpful to know which stage your loved one is currently in so you can anticipate certain characteristic behaviors and know how to best handle and care for them.
For more information about each of the seven stages and the specific characteristics for each state can be viewed at the following:
Should you have any questions about Alzheimer’s or planning steps for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, please do not hesitate to contact us at (631) 424-2800.