Scientists believe that for most people, Alzheimer's disease is caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that affect the brain over time. Less than 1% of the time, Alzheimer's is caused by specific genetic changes that virtually guarantee a person will develop the disease.
As Alzheimer's disease progresses, people experience greater memory loss and other cognitive difficulties. Problems can include wandering and getting lost, trouble handling money and paying bills, repeating questions, taking longer to complete normal daily tasks, and personality and behavior changes.
The 7 Stages of Alzheimer's Disease
Stage 1: Before Symptoms Appear.
Stage 2: Basic Forgetfulness.
Stage 3: Noticeable Memory Difficulties.
Stage 4: More Than Memory Loss.
Stage 5: Decreased Independence.
Stage 6: Severe Symptoms.
Stage 7: Lack of Physical Control.
The vast majority of those with Alzheimer's die from aspiration pneumonia – when food or liquid go down the windpipe instead of the esophagus, causing damage or infection in the lungs that develops into pneumonia.
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