Patients may have changes to their brain years before they receive a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. The
By stage four of Alzheimer's disease, or moderate cognitive decline, the patient is showing several identifiable problems. For example, the patient may not be able to do challenging arithmetic in her head, such as counting backwards from the number 100 by groups of seven. The memory problems have worsened to affect the patient's memory of her own life. Changes in personality and mood occur, such as becoming withdrawn or having mood swings. In the last three stages of Alzheimer's disease, the cognitive impairment is severely worse. For example, in stage five of Alzheimer's disease, the patient cannot remember her address or telephone number. In stage six of Alzheimer's disease, the patient has trouble remembering the name of her spouse or caregiver. By the last stage of Alzheimer's disease, the patient needs help to carry out basic survival tasks.
Can certain factors affect the progression of Alzheimer's disease?