Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive and irreversible damage to the brain. The loss of nerve cells is slow but inexorable.
There Alzheimer’s disease belongs to the group of diseases called “dementias” and is the most common cause. It most often occurs after age 65.
THE symptoms of the disease appear gradually. They result in disorders of the memory, the execution of simple gestures, orientation in time and space as well as cognitive functions. They are due to the degeneration of neurons in the brain.
The 7 stages of Alzheimer’s disease
Experts have defined 7 “ stadiums to describe the evolution of the abilities of a person with Alzheimer’s disease to an advanced stage. The system used is the Reisberg scale, which owes its name to Doctor Barry Reisberg, who was the first to describe the main symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and to provide indications on its clinical course.
▪ Stage 1: no cognitive decline. The person has no signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
▪ Stage 2: very slight decline. The person sometimes has the impression of having memory lapses, of forgetting common words or the location of certain everyday objects. But no symptoms of dementia are detected during medical examinations or by friends, family or colleagues.
▪ Stage 3: slight decline. Memory and thinking deficits become more noticeable. During a thorough medical examination, doctors are able to detect problems with memory or concentration.
▪ Stage 4: moderate decline. At this stage, a clear cognitive impairment is observed. Memory lapses are more pronounced, and individuals may find it difficult to manage finances or organize day-to-day activities. They may also withdraw from social situations due to problems with thinking. Nevertheless, the person is able to orient themselves in time, in known spaces and recognizes familiar faces.
▪ Stage 5: severe decline. From then on, the person can no longer live alone in their environment. She needs assistance with certain daily tasks (preparing meals, choosing her clothes), but not with her basic needs (eating, going to the toilet).
▪ Stage 6: severe decline. Individuals experience a severe decline in cognitive abilities, including difficulty recognizing loved ones, loss of awareness of their surroundings, and difficulty caring for themselves. Behavioral changes, such as restlessness or aggression, may become more prominent. The person may also have strong symptoms of temporo-spatial disorientation, incontinence and sleep disturbances.
▪ Stage 7: very severe decline. During the terminal phase of the disease, muscle tension sets in making the person unable to move or interact (talk, smile). Assistance becomes essential for all of his needs. According to the Reisberg scale, the life expectancy of a person with stage 7 Alzheimer’s disease is approximately one to three years.
Good to know : the different stages of the disease can be ridewhich sometimes makes it difficult to determine what stage of the disease a person is in.
Can Alzheimer’s be cured?
Unfortunately, no, currently there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, we can only alleviate certain symptoms of the disease with treatments, but there is no no way to cure it. The patient being degenerative, the patient cannot recover the lost faculties and there is no way to return to a less advanced stage when he has reached a new level in the disease.
There Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease, it is estimated that 1.2 million people are affected in France. Its frequency increases with age. Rare before age 65, Alzheimer’s disease affects 23% of the population after age 80. After age 65, it concerns about twice as many women as men.
Understanding Alzheimer’s disease.ameli.fr
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in France.alz.org
The 7 stages of Alzheimer’s disease.rechercher.org