Alzheimer’s Disease

The Seven Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

The following stages of Alzheimer’s disease, developed by Barry Reisberg, M.D., was designed to help us know more about and help us share with others the development of the disease in their loved ones. It should be understood that symptoms vary from person to person. This a basic or general idea of how abilities change during the course of the disease. For more detailed information, feel free to call or send me an email.

The Seven Stages

1. No impairment: No memory problems; medical professionals detect no symptoms of dementia.

2. Very mild decline: The person feels they have memory lapses; other than familiar words, no other symptoms are detected.

3. Mild decline: Friends, family members, and medical professionals detect difficulties coming up with the right name or word, greater difficulty performing normal tasks, loss in comprehension, losing valuable objects.

4. Moderate decline: During a medical interview clear-cut symptoms are detectable including forgetfulness of recent events and impaired ability to do complex mental arithmetic. Slight personality changes detected.

5. Moderately severe decline: Gaps in memory are detectable and individuals need help to perform day-to-day activities. Some of the gaps include inability to remember one’s own address or the high school they attended. They are still able to remember significant details about themselves and the family. They require no assistance with eating or personal hygiene.

6. Severe decline: Memory continues to worsen, more personality changes are detectable, more help is needed with daily activities. Changes include loss of awareness of surroundings; remembers their own name but difficulty with personal history. Has difficulty with facial recognition of spouse or caregivers.

7. Very severe decline: Individuals lose the ability to respond to their environment, carry on a conversation, or control movements. The person needs help with daily personal care including eating and personal hygiene. They may lose the ability to smile or sit without support. Reflexes become abnormal. Muscles grow rigid. Swallowing is impaired.

I am praying for you and continuing my research as you pray for and care for your loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease and the various forms of dementia.

Facts & Stats Continued

Continuing with more Facts and Stats,

  • 500,000 people are dying each year due to complications related to Alzheimer’s disease
    That is way too many people and we are seeking to see what we can do to lower that number.
  • A discouraging statement
    According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “Alzheimer’s is the only cause of death among the top ten in America that cannot be prevented, cured, or even slowed.” When I read that, I thought “Wow! That is a huge statement.” If that is true and not overstating the case, does that prevent some researchers from going the second mile to find a cure? With The DADS Project and other steps of implementation, we are seeking God for a cure and applying some biblical principles to change that trend and that statement.
  • Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging
    Up to 5% of people with the disease are in their 40s and 50s. However, the greatest known risk factor is aging. We are asking more questions and seeking to see what is going on. Is the brain shutting down due to aging or is it shutting down because as we age we do not feed the brain what it needs?
  • Live expectancy
    Those with Alzheimer’s live, on the average, 8 years after beginning to show signs of the disease. People with Alzheimer’s survive 4 to 20 years depending on other heath matters.

Alzheimer’s Stats State by State 

State 2014 Projected 2025 % change
Mississippi 51,000 65,000 27.5%
Tennessee 110,000 140,000 110%
Indiana 100,000 130,000 30%
Ohio 210,000 250,000 19%
Georgia 130,000 190,000 46.2%
Florida 480,000 720,000 50%
Iowa 62,000 73,000 17.7%
Minnesota 88,000 120,000 36.4%
North Carolina 150,000 210,000 40%
Washington DC 9,200 9,000 -2.2%

Look at the chart and notice how your state compares to other states. Let me know if you would like information on the state in which you live or a state of interest. The chart lists the information for several states telling us …

  • 2014 reported cases of Alzheimer’s,
  • projected numbers for 2025 at the current trend, and
  • the percentage of change between 2014-2025

When we look at the numbers of people developing Alzheimer’s disease, if the numbers reported are accurate, there are some important questions. Why the inconsistencies? Why are some states or areas more or less affected? Is there something going on causing the numbers to be higher or lower in some regions of our country?

So many people have adopted the notion that Alzheimer’s is a natural part of the aging process. Their thought is, “If I get it, that’s too bad. There is really nothing I can do to prevent it.” But if Alzheimer’s and some of the other forms of dementia were a normal part of the aging process, should the percentage of change in the chart above be closer to consistent state-to-state? What is going on? Why is the percentage of change so different? Why are some areas of the country more or less affected. We will talk about that and much more in the forthcoming DADS Project workshops.

Why so many deaths? Is there a cure?

A few more important pieces of information and an important question:

  • In 2010, 83,494 people died from Alzheimer’s disease. That was the recorded cause of death on their death certificate.
  • It is believed that Alzheimer’s disease played some role in the death of at least 700,000 more people. Meaning, they died after having developed the disease.
  • Conventional wisdom says and the official current statement is, “Alzheimer’s disease leads to nerve cell death and tissue loss throughout the brain.” I believe the day will come when people will discover and be required to redo the former statement to say – Alzheimer’s disease is the result of nerve cell death and tissue loss in the brain due to a kind of “malnutrition” of important brain fuel.

This leads to the wider discussion about brain food and brain cell fuel. Is there food, some of which is on the shelf at our local markets and grocery stores, we ought to be consuming to feed our brain? We will discuss that and much more during upcoming workshops of The DADS Project.

Check the “Events” section of my website for upcoming workshops. If you are a pastor, church leader, or denominational worker, email me to receive a special recorded message about The DADS Project workshops.

Most death trends are down. That’s great news.

One of the many blessings of medical research, good medical care, a healthy diet, and truth about how to take care of ourselves is longer life. My dad lived to be 88. My wife’s father lived to be 94 years old.

Many years ago I pastored a church in Johnson City, Tennessee. Just this past Sunday, Hilda Gutierrez, a member of that church celebrated her 100th birthday.

Many times these folks remain physically strong and mentally sharp. Some are not so fortunate. Here is more important information for our Facts & Stats:

There are six leading health-risk killers in the USA today: Those six leading causes are: breast cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, stroke, HIV, and Alzheimer’s disease. Due to all the research, medical care, and focus personally and professionally, when we look at death rates from these diseases between the years 2000 and 2010, even though there are still too many people dying from these factors, actually deaths from five out of these six are down.

  • Breast cancer, down 2%
  • Prostate cancer, down 8%
  • Heart disease, down 16%
  • Stroke, down 23%
  • HIV, down 42%
  • Alzheimer’s disease, increased 68%

We must keep seeking and praying for a cure, reversal, and prevention of this and other forms of dementia. More tomorrow

Alzheimer’s a major concern for women

Continuing with more data …

  • Nearly 50% of people who live beyond the age of 85 will suffer from Alzheimers disease.
  • While deaths from stroke, heart attack, and various forms of cancer seem to be declining, deaths from Alzheimer’s disease are increasing. There was a 47% increase in cases of Alzheimer’s between the years 2000 and 2006.
  • What is the greatest health fear amount women today? In most women it is breast cancer. However, women in their 60s and beyond are almost twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease during the rest of their lives as they are to developing breast cancer.

For these and many other reasons we need to keep praying and seeking the answer from our Lord as to how to reverse these trends. More tomorrow as we look at some good and not so good news from the years 2000 to 2010.

The Seriousness of the Issue

  • It has been carefully estimated 5.2 million people in the USA have Alzheimer’s disease; 30 million people worldwide.
  • It has been projected that unless a cure is found, 16 million people in the USA will develop Alzheimer’s by 2050; 100 million worldwide.
  • At this rate unless a cure is found, another person develops Alzheimer’s disease every 67 seconds.
  • 1 in 8 older Americans have Alzheimer’s.
  • More than 200,000 people under the age of 65 have early onset Alzheimer’s disease. As people live beyond the age of 65, their chance of having Alzheimer’s doubles every 5 years.

There Are Many Forms of Dementia

Dementia is not a specific disease. It is an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.

  • Alzheimer’s Disease: Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia. 60% – 80% of people with dementia will develop Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Vascular Dementia: The second most common form of dementia. Vascular dementia occurs after a stroke.
  • Parkinson’s Disease: The third most common form of dementia.

Dementia & Alzheimer’s: What is the difference?


Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Memory loss is an example.

Dementia is not a specific disease. It is an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.

There are many conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies.

Dementia is often incorrectly referred to as “senility” or “senile dementia.” When people refer to it in this way, they usually assume, incorrectly, that dementia and serious mental decline is a normal part of aging. This often leads people to a passive position and belief that nothing can be done. In many cases that is simply not true but leads to the growth rate of dementia.

There are many forms of dementia

  • Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. At the current rate, 60% – 80% of people with dementia will develop Alzheimer’s disease.

DADS Facts and Stats

Beginning Monday, February 9, and continuing for as many days as needed, I will be posting a DADS fact at 2:30. These facts and stats will be related to The DADS Project, which stands for The Dementia and Alzheimer’s Dynamic Saturation Project. This information is gleaned from many quality resources including doctors and professionals I have consulted with and the Alzheimer’s Association.

Why 2:30 in the afternoon?

  • As a reminder that 2/3rds of the people affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s are women. My mother and my mother-in-law had it. Many of you know or know of a person who has dementia in one form or another.
  • In the hope that you might take a couple moments out of your busy schedule each day at 2:30 and pray.
    • Pray for those who are affected by dementia in its many forms.
    • Pray for those who are working around the clock in the search for a cure, a reversal, and a prevention.

Have a great weekend