Memory impairment, as well as problems with language, decision-making ability,
judgment, and personality, are necessary features for the diagnosis.
Alzheimer’s disease leads to nerve cell death and tissue loss throughout the brain. Over
time, the brain shrinks dramatically, affecting nearly all its functions.
Symptoms become severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.
Alzheimer changes typically begin in the part of the brain that affects learning
Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
Mild cognitive impairment is the stage between normal forgetfulness due to aging, and
the development of AD. People with MCI have mild problems with thinking and memory
that do not interfere with everyday activities. They are often aware of the forgetfulness.
Not everyone with MCI develops AD
Other early symptoms:
Language problems, such as trouble finding the name of familiar objects
Difficulty performing tasks that take some thought, but used to come easily, such as
balancing a checkbook, playing complex games (such as bridge), and learning new
information or routines
As the AD becomes worse, symptoms are more obvious and interfere with your ability to
take care of yourself. Symptoms can include:
Forgetting details about current events
Forgetting events in your own life history, losing awareness of who you are
Change in sleep patterns, often waking up at night
Difficulty reading or writing
Poor judgment and loss of ability to recognize danger
Using the wrong word, mispronouncing words, speaking in confusing sentences
, arguments, striking out, and violent behavior
Having delusions, depression, agitation
Difficulty doing basic tasks, such as preparing meals, choosing proper clothing, and
No impairment (normal function)
The person does not experience any memory problems. An interview with a medical
professional does not show any evidence of symptoms.