Alzheimer's Disease: Prognosis and Complications

Discover what complications from Alzheimer's disease may arise and learn the prognosis for the Alzheimer's patient at HealthyPlace

Overview of complications from Alzheimer's disease plus prognosis for the Alzheimer's patient.

Alzheimer's Complications

A person with Alzheimer's disease can experience the following complications:

  • Falls (from impaired coordination)
  • "Sundowning" (withdrawal or agitation in the evening)
  • Malnutrition and dehydration
  • Infection (from urinary tract infections or pneumonia)
  • Asphyxiation (stopped breathing)
  • Harmful or violent behavior toward self or others
  • Suicide
  • Poor health and support due to caregiver burnout
  • Physical and emotional abuse, including neglect
  • Coronary disease

Prognosis for Alzheimer's Patients

There is no known cure for Alzheimer's disease; the disease naturally progresses and worsens over time. People with the disease can survive for many years, however. While most people with Alzheimer's die within 8 to 10 years, some live as long as 25 years.

Some people decline steadily during their disease, while others reach major plateaus where their symptoms advance quite slowly. Men and people with a long-standing history of high blood pressure are more likely to decline rapidly. Additionally, the older a person with Alzheimer's disease becomes, the more likely he or she is to decline rapidly.

An accurate, early diagnosis gives affected individuals a greater chance of benefiting from existing treatments.

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2021, December 20). Alzheimer's Disease: Prognosis and Complications, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 20 from

Last Updated: January 2, 2022

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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