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Alzheimer's Disease Health Center

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Understanding Alzheimer's Disease -- Symptoms

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Severe Alzheimer's

The third stage, also known as late Alzheimer's, is the most severe. It typically lasts 1 to 3 years.

People in this phase might have some or all of these symptoms:

  • Major confusion about what’s in the past and what’s happening now
  • Can’t express themselves, remember, or process information
  • Problems with swallowing and control of their bladder and bowels
  • Weight loss, seizures, skin infections, and other illnesses
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that aren’t really there, called hallucinations
  • Can’t move easily on their own

Alzheimer's or Normal Aging?

Just about everyone has minor memory glitches as they get older. If someone forgets a name or why he walked into the kitchen, that doesn't mean he has Alzheimer's.

The main problem that defines the disease is trouble planning and handling day-to-day tasks, like paying bills, managing a checkbook, or using familiar appliances around the house.

What You Can Do

If you think you notice the signs of Alzheimer’s in yourself or a loved one, the best thing to do is to talk to a doctor. He can let you know what the symptoms mean and what your options are for treating them.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Richard Senelick, MD on February 28, 2015
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