Alzheimer disease symptoms are mild when they start, but get worse over time.

Early Phase

Common problems in the early phase are:

  • Forgetfulness with attempts to hide forgetting
  • Losing items or putting them in the wrong place
  • Getting lost while driving or walking in familiar places
  • Lack of interest in activities
  • Problems with focus
  • Problems recalling words
  • A change from complex to simple sentences
  • Problems doing math
  • Problems doing fine motor tasks, such as putting a key in the keyhole or buttoning a shirt
  • Problems doing daily tasks, such as finances, home tasks, and hygiene
  • Repeating questions and stories
  • Wordy speech that does not make sense
  • Problems naming things
  • Signs of depression

Middle Phase

Long-term memory may be good, but short-term memory begins to fail in the this phase. Other changes may be:

  • Problems sleeping
  • Becoming less social and less aware of the feelings of others
  • Needing help to make decisions
  • Needing help bathing, grooming, dressing
  • Forgetting one’s own past history of personal events
  • Personality changes, such as sudden mood shifts, anger, worry, or fearfulness

Advanced Phase

Abilities decline quickly in the this phase. Changes may be:

  • Problems using language
  • Getting easily disoriented
  • Problems with urine control
  • Walking with a shuffle
  • Falling often
  • Showing little emotion
  • Pain and problems moving
  • Weight loss and problems swallowing
  • Mental health problems, such as mood changes and seeing things that are not there

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD
  • Review Date: 09/2019 -
  • Update Date: 10/10/2019 -