Alzheimer's Disease Symptoms
In the Alzheimer's Series:
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
By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on
26 May 2013
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.