Global Deterioration Scale
Some health-care professionals use the Global Deterioration Scale, also called the Reisberg Scale, to measure the progression of Alzheimer's disease. This scale divides Alzheimer's disease into seven stages of ability.
Stage 1: No cognitive decline
- Experiences no problems in daily living.
Stage 2: Very mild cognitive decline
- Forgets names and locations of objects.
- May have trouble finding words.
Stage 3: Mild cognitive decline
- Has difficulty travelling to new locations.
- Has difficulty handling problems at work.
Stage 4: Moderate cognitive decline
- Has difficulty with complex tasks (finances, shopping, planning dinner for guests).
Stage 5: Moderately severe cognitive decline
- Needs help to choose clothing.
- Needs prompting to bathe.
Stage 6: Severe cognitive decline
- Loss of awareness of recent events and experiences.
- Requires assistance bathing; may have a fear of bathing.
- Has decreased ability to use the toilet or is incontinent.
Stage 7: Very severe cognitive decline
- Vocabulary becomes limited, eventually declining to single words.
- Loses ability to walk and sit.
- Requires help with eating.
Reisberg, B., Ferris, S. H., de Leon, M. J., and Crook, T. (1982). Modified from Global Deterioration Scale. American Journal of Psychiatry, 139:1136–1139.
Last Updated: 08/14/12