Mild symptoms: Individuals with mild symptoms of AD often seem healthy, but mental deterioration, such as memory impairment and confusion, are occurring. Symptoms and early signs of Alzheimer's disease may include: difficulty learning and remembering new information, difficulty with daily tasks (such as managing finances, planning meals, and taking medication on schedule), and depression symptoms (sadness, decreased interest in usual activities, loss of energy). The individual is usually still able to do most activities such as driving a car, but may get lost going to familiar places. People with early and mild symptoms of AD may exhibit mood swings. They may express distrust in others, show increased stubbornness, and withdraw socially. This may be a response to the frustration they feel as they notice uncontrollable changes in their memory. Restlessness also is a common sign. As the disease progresses, people with Alzheimer's may become anxious or aggressive and behave inappropriately.
Severe symptoms: In the advanced stage of AD, damage to the brain's nerve cells is widespread. At this point, full-time care is typically required. The patient is generally bed-ridden. For friends, family, and Alzheimer's caregivers, this can be the most difficult stage. Individuals with severe Alzheimer's disease may have difficulty walking and they often suffer complications from other illnesses such as pneumonia. Signs of severe Alzheimer's disease may include groaning, screaming, mumbling, or speaking gibberish. They refuse to eat and may inappropriately cry out. Individuals with severe or advanced symptoms fail to recognize the faces of family members or caregivers. Apraxia (inability to perform physical tasks such as dressing, eating) and aphasia (loss of ability in comprehension of spoken or written language) are seen. They have great difficulty with all essential activities of daily life.
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