Alzheimer's disease begins slowly from a clinical point of view. In its early stages, it appears as short-term memory loss. However, as it progresses through the stages of dementia, cognitive impairment becomes increasingly noticeable and severe. There are four stages that characterize the presence and progress of Alzheimer's.

1. Pre-Dementia Phase

• No obvious symptoms

2. Mild Cognitive Impairment

• Mild forgetfulness that interferes with daily activities
• Trouble remembering events or activities
• Trouble remembering names of familiar people or things

3. Early to Moderate Stage Dementia

• Change in personality
• Loss of insight
• Loss of ability to do simple tasks like brushing teeth or combing hair
• Failure to recognize familiar people and places
• Trouble speaking, understanding, reading and/or writing
• May become anxious, aggressive—disoriented and confused
• Become increasingly unaware of personal limitations

4. Late Stage Dementia

• Greater confusion and disorientation
• Complete dependency on others
• Physical health deteriorates due to inactivity
• Death is usually due to pneumonia or other infections


Read about the difference between Alzheimer's disease and normal cognitive aging.