Alzheimer disease progresses slowly, and changes take place gradually over time. People can live with Alzheimer disease for 3-25 years, although the average duration of the disease is about 8-10 years. In general, changes can be characterized in 3 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:
10 early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's. Alzheimer’s Association website. Available at: http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_10_signs_of_alzheimers.asp. Accessed October 2, 2017.
Alzheimer dementia. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114193/Alzheimer-dementia. Updated August 21, 2017. Accessed October 2, 2017.
Symptoms and diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease. National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health website. Available at: https://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/topics/symptoms. Accessed October 2, 2017.
Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD Last Updated: 9/17/2014