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Alzheimer’s Disease Follows a Predictable Pattern of Progression

As Lebanon Social Security disability attorneys, we work with clients who suffer from serious injuries and illnesses to obtain the Social Security disability benefits they are due. One of the most difficult diagnoses is that of early onset Alzheimer’s disease – a degenerative brain disease that causes debilitating dementia. It occurs mostly in people over the age of 65, but sometimes occurs in much younger people. The disease progresses slowly over the years and follows a typical pattern. The following seven stages outline the progression of the disease:

  • Stage 1 – Normal function. In this stage, the person experiences no memory problems and doctors can find no evidence of dementia.
  • Stage 2 – Very mild cognitive decline that could be age-related or the initial symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. In this stage, the person may feel as if he or she is having memory lapses, but co-workers, friends, and family do not notice any decline and doctors can find no evidence of dementia.
  • Stage 3 – Mild cognitive decline in which friends and family have started to notice the difficulties. Typical problems include trouble coming up with the right word, losing valuable objects, and difficulty completing tasks at work or at home.
  • Stage 4 – Moderate cognitive decline or early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Typical issues include forgetting recent events, increasing moodiness, withdrawing from social situations, and having more difficulty with complicated tasks like paying bills, following a recipe, or balancing the checkbook.
  • Stage 5 – Moderately severe cognitive decline or mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease. In this stage, individuals may remember significant personal details, but may no longer know their address and phone number, where they are, or what day it is.
  • Stage 6 – Severe cognitive decline or mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease. In this stage, the memory continues to worsen and individuals require extensive assistance with personal care tasks such as bathing, dressing, and toileting.
  • Stage 7 – Very severe cognitive decline or late-stage Alzheimer’s disease. In this final stage of the disease, patients lose the ability to carry on a conversation and interact with their environment. Eventually, they lose the ability to move.

A diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer’s disease is frightening, but treatments are available to ward off symptoms and delay the progression of the disease. If your Social Security disability application has been denied, contact an experienced Pennsylvania Social Security Disability attorney at Schmidt Kramer. Our lawyers regularly work with clients who have been denied Social Security disability benefits to obtain the benefits they are owed. Contact us today at (717) 888-8888. We will evaluate your case for free and help you to understand your legal options.