About Alzheimer's Disease
Stages of Alzheimer's disease
The symptom severity of Alzheimer's disease is separated into 3 stages: Mild, Moderate, and Severe. As symptoms progress, or get worse, your loved one will move through the 3 stages of Alzheimer's disease. Knowing what symptoms to watch for will help you properly care for your loved one.
It is important for your doctor to know if your loved one's symptoms begin to change. A change in symptoms may indicate that it's time to consider treatment for the next stage of Alzheimer's disease.
The initial symptoms are often confused with changes that take place in normal aging. Symptoms and early signs of Alzheimer's disease may include:
- Becoming confused in familiar places
- Trouble handling money and paying bills
- Taking longer than usual to complete normal daily tasks
- Occasionally losing or misplacing things
- Mild mood and personality changes
Remember, NAMENDA is not for people with mild stage Alzheimer's disease.
Watch for a change in symptoms and talk to your loved one's doctor if you start to notice a change. If you need help starting the conversation, this may help.
In the moderate stage, symptoms and signs of Alzheimer's disease become more pronounced. Signs and symptoms of moderate Alzheimer's disease may include:
- Increased memory loss and confusion
- Problems recognizing family and friends
- Continuously repeating stories, favorite words, or motions
- Difficulty carrying out tasks that have multiple steps, like getting dressed
- Lack of concern for hygiene and appearance
If your loved one is in the moderate stage of Alzheimer's disease, it may be time to consider combination therapy. Adding NAMENDA to ARICEPT may slow the progression of symptoms that impair performance of everyday activities.
A clinical study of patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease who were already taking ARICEPT showed that when NAMENDA was added, patients taking the combination demonstrated less decline in their ability to perform everyday activities compared with patients taking placebo (sugar pill) and remaining on ARICEPT.
Now's the time to talk to your loved one's doctor about the option of combination therapy.
In the severe stage, full-time care is typically required. For friends, family, and caregivers, this can be the most difficult stage. Signs of severe Alzheimer's disease may include:
- Inability to recognize oneself or family
- Inability to communicate
- Lack of control of bowel and bladder
- Groaning, moaning, or grunting
- Requiring assistance with all activities of daily living
If your loved one is in the severe stage of Alzheimer's disease, it may be time to consider combination therapy. A study has shown that people with moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease experienced benefits in thinking, function and behavior when they took NAMENDA together with ARICEPT, compared to those remaining on ARICEPT alone.
It's not too late to talk to your loved one's doctor about starting combination therapy.
There is no evidence that NAMENDA prevents or slows the underlying disease process in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.