disease gets worse over time. The experts have defined a "stages" to
describe how the skills of a person change as the disease progresses.
Given this, it is important to remember that the steps are general
guidelines and that symptoms vary greatly. Each individual is unique,
but here describes what happens to the majority. People with Alzheimer's
disease live an average of eight years before its symptoms have begun to
be noticed by other people, but life expectancy varies from only three
to 20 years, depending on age and other health conditions of the
individual. The seven stages presented here are based on a system
developed by Barry Reisberg, M.D., director of the Center for research
into dementia and aging Silberstein of the school of Medicine of the NYU,
in the United States.
are the seven stages described Dr. Barry Reisberg, which shows an
involution of life itself. As well as the baby grows up to become a
child, teenager, young adult and complete its cycle of life, the order
presents the doctor Reisber in in the opposite direction. Here are the 7
stages he is talking about.
documented common patterns of symptom progression that occur in many
individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and developed several methods of
“staging” based on these patterns.
systems provide useful frames of reference to understand how the disease
may unfold and for making future plans. But it is important to note that
not everyone will experience the same symptoms or progress at the same
rate. People with Alzheimer’s die an average of four to six years after
diagnosis, but the duration of the disease can vary from three to 20
framework for this section is a system that outlines key symptoms
characterizing seven stages ranging from unimpaired function to very
severe cognitive decline. This framework is based on a system developed
by Barry Reisberg, M.D., Clinical Director of the New York University
School of Medicine’s Silberstein Aging and Dementia Research Center.
framework, we have noted which stages correspond to the widely used
concepts of mild, moderate, moderately severe and severe Alzheimer’s
disease. We have also noted which stages fall within the more general
divisions of early-stage, mid-stage and late-stage categories.
impairment (normal function)
Unimpaired individuals experience no memory problems and none are
evident to a health care professional during a medical interview.
mild cognitive decline (may be normal age-related changes or
earliest signs of Alzheimer's disease)
Individuals may feel as if they have memory lapses, especially in
forgetting familiar words or names or the location of keys,
eyeglasses or other everyday objects. But these problems are not
evident during a medical examination or apparent to friends, family
Early-stage Alzheimer's can be diagnosed in some, but not all,
individuals with these symptoms
family or co-workers begin to notice deficiencies. Problems with
memory or concentration may be measurable in clinical testing or
discernible during a detailed medical interview. Common difficulties
name-finding problems noticeable to family or close associates
Decreased ability to remember names when introduced to new people
Performance issues in social or work settings noticeable to family,
friends or co-workers
a passage and retaining little material
or misplacing a valuable object
in ability to plan or organize
early-stage Alzheimer's disease)
stage, a careful medical interview detects clear-cut deficiencies in
the following areas:
Decreased knowledge of recent occasions or current events
ability to perform challenging mental arithmetic-for example, to
count backward from 75 by 7s
Decreased capacity to perform complex tasks, such as planning dinner
for guests, paying bills and managing finances
memory of personal history
affected individual may seem subdued and withdrawn, especially in
socially or mentally challenging situations
Moderately severe cognitive decline
(Moderate or mid-stage Alzheimer's disease)
gaps in memory and deficits in cognitive function emerge. Some
assistance with day-to-day activities becomes essential. At this
stage, individuals may:
unable during a medical interview to recall such important details
as their current address, their telephone number or the name of the
college or high school from which they graduated
confused about where they are or about the date, day of the week or
trouble with less challenging mental arithmetic; for example,
counting backward from 40 by 4s or from 20 by 2s
help choosing proper clothing for the season or the occasion
retain substantial knowledge about themselves and know their own
name and the names of their spouse or children
require no assistance with eating or using the toilet
(Moderately severe or mid-stage Alzheimer's disease)
difficulties continue to worsen, significant personality changes may
emerge and affected individuals need extensive help with customary
daily activities. At this stage, individuals may:
most awareness of recent experiences and events as well as of their
Recollect their personal history imperfectly, although they
generally recall their own name
Occasionally forget the name of their spouse or primary caregiver
but generally can distinguish familiar from unfamiliar faces
help getting dressed properly; without supervision, may make such
errors as putting pyjamas over daytime clothes or shoes on wrong
Experience disruption of their normal sleep/waking cycle
help with handling details of toileting (flushing toilet, wiping and
disposing of tissue properly)
increasing episodes of urinary or fecal incontinence
Experience significant personality changes and behavioural symptoms,
including suspiciousness and delusions (for example, believing that
their caregiver is an impostor); hallucinations (seeing or hearing
things that are not really there); or compulsive, repetitive
behaviours such as hand-wringing or tissue shredding
wander and become lost
severe cognitive decline
or late-stage Alzheimer's disease)
the final stage of the disease when individuals lose the ability to
respond to their environment, the ability to speak and, ultimately,
the ability to control movement.
Frequently individuals lose their capacity for recognizable speech,
although words or phrases may occasionally be uttered
Individuals need help with eating and toileting and there is general
urinal and faecal incontinence
Individuals lose the ability to walk without assistance, then the
ability to sit without support, the ability to smile, and the
ability to hold their head up. Reflexes become abnormal and muscles
grow rigid. Swallowing is impaired.
* Dr. Barry Reisberg,
del Centro de Investigación de Demencia y Envejecimiento Silberstein
de la Escuela de Medicina de la Universidad de Nueva
York, en Estados Unidos.
ALZHEMER / Los números...
En el mundo existen más de 36 millones de personas con Alzheimer.
Cada año 4.6 millones de personas más.
Un nuevo caso cada 4 segundos.
El número de casos se duplica cada 20 años.
Para el 2030: Más de 75 millones.
Para el 2040: Más de 81 millones.
Para el 2050: Más de 135 millones.
En México: Más de 800 mil personas.
* Datos tomados de la ADI y fuentes varias.
Información tomada de apuntes personales y fuentes varias.
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