About dementia

Stages of Alzheimer's disease (what happens)

Alzheimer's disease is a brain disease where brain cells progressively degenerate. The most common of a large group of disorders known as "dementias," Alzheimer’s disease causes deterioration in thinking ability and memory. It also affects behaviour, mood and emotions, and the ability to perform everyday activities.

Alzheimer's disease typically follows certain stages which will bring about changes in the person's and family's lives. Because the disease affects each individual differently, the symptoms, the order in which they appear and the duration of each stage vary from person to person. In most cases, the disease progresses slowly, and the symptoms of each stage may overlap, often making the move from one stage to another quite subtle. The duration of the disease is usually seven to ten years but may be much longer in some people.

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer's disease nor can its progression be reversed. Present treatment options and lifestyle choices, however, can often significantly slow the progression of the disease.

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Last Updated: 10/04/12