Alzheimer's Disease Symptoms
In the Alzheimer's Series:
- An Introduction to Alzheimer's
- Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease
- Causes of Alzheimer's
- Treatment of Alzheimer's
- How Alzheimer's is Diagnosed
- What is the Outlook for Alzheimer's?
- Further Information
Alzheimer's disease is characterized by the development of multiple cognitive deficits manifested by:
- Memory impairment (impaired ability to learn new information or to recall previously learned information)
- And one (or more) of the following cognitive disturbances:
- Deterioration of language may be manifested by difficulty producing the names of individuals and objects (aphasia)
- An impaired ability to carry out motor activities (such as combing their hair) despite intact motor abilities, sensory function and comprehension of the required task (apraxia)
- A failure to recognize or identify objects despite intact sensory function (agnosia)
- A disturbance in executive functioning (e.g., planning, organizing, sequencing, abstracting)
The cognitive deficits above each cause significant impairment in social or occupational functioning and represent a significant decline from a previous level of functioning. The course is characterized by gradual onset and continuing cognitive decline. The deficits do not occur exclusively during the course of a delirium.
The cognitive deficits above are not due to any of the following:
- Other central nervous system conditions that cause progressive deficits in memory and cognition (e.g., cerebrovascular disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, subdural hematoma, normal-pressure hydrocephalus, brain tumor)
- Systemic conditions that are known to cause dementia (e.g., hypothyroidism, vitamin B-12 or folic acid deficiency, niacin deficiency, hypercalcemia, neurosyphilis, HIV infection)
- substance-induced conditions
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 17 May 2016
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.