Alzheimers disease progresses slowly, and changes take place gradually over time. People can live with Alzheimers disease for 3-25 years, although the average duration of the disease is about 8-10 years. In general, changes can be characterized in three phases.
Subtle changes occur, but the problem is sometimes hard to pinpoint. More often, family members recognize these changes rather than the patients themselves. Common changes may include:
Impairments in memory and mental functioning become more obvious. Long-term memory may still be intact, but short-term memory fails. Other changes include:
Abilities decline dramatically. Changes include:
Alzheimer’s Association website. Available at: http://www.alz.org.
National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health website. Available at: http://www.nia.nih.gov.
Last reviewed September 2013 by Rimas Lukas, MD
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