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Global Deterioration Scale

Some health-care professionals use the Global Deterioration Scale, also called the Reisberg Scale, to measure the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. This scale divides Alzheimer’s disease into seven stages of ability.​

Stage 1: No cognitive decline​
Experiences no problems in daily living.​

Stage 2: Very mild cognitive decline​
Forgets names and locations of objects.​
May have trouble finding words.​

Stage 3: Mild cognitive decline​
Has difficulty travelling to new locations.​
Has difficulty handling problems at work.​

Stage 4: Moderate cognitive decline​
Has difficulty with complex tasks (finances, shopping, planning dinner for guests).​

Stage 5: Moderately severe cognitive decline​
Needs help to choose clothing.​
Needs prompting to bathe.​

Stage 6: Severe cognitive decline​
Loss of awareness of recent events and experiences.​
Requires assistance bathing; may have a fear of bathing.​
Has decreased ability to use the toilet or is incontinent.​

Stage 7: Very severe cognitive decline​
Vocabulary becomes limited, eventually declining to single words.​
Loses ability to walk and sit.​
Requires help with eating.