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.