Alzheimer’s disease progresses slowly, and changes take place gradually over time. People can live with Alzheimer’s 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 2012 by Rimas Lukas, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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