Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that worsens over time and eventually leads to the gradual decline of cognitive function, including memory, language, and reasoning abilities. Over 6 million people in the United States live with Alzheimer’s disease, and while there is no cure, some medicines may slow the progression of symptoms.
Early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease vary from person to person, but there are several common signs of Alzheimer’s disease that families should know about. It is important to be aware of these symptoms and consult a doctor for an accurate diagnosis. With early diagnosis, individuals with Alzheimer’s disease can receive appropriate treatment and care that can help manage their symptoms and keep them safe and healthy otherwise.
Memory Loss and Forgetfulness
One of the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s disease is difficulty remembering recently learned information like forgetting appointments, misplacing objects, or trouble recalling the names of familiar people or places. As the disease progresses, memory loss may become more severe and affects the ability to remember events from the distant past.
Problems Planning and Performing Familiar Tasks
Another common early symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is difficulty completing familiar tasks or routine activities. Examples include confusion navigating familiar places, trouble cooking a meal, following a recipe, or difficulty managing personal finances. These difficulties are related to a decline in the brain’s executive function, which is responsible for planning and organizing tasks, remembering instructions, and the ability to juggle multiple tasks successfully.
Problems Speaking, Remembering Words, or Writing
Speaking issues are also a common early sign of Alzheimer’s disease such as difficulty finding the right words to express oneself, following conversations, or repeating the same words or phrases. These problems get worse as the disease progresses, leading to difficulty finding the right words, speaking in proper sentences, and reading and writing.
Difficulty Making Sensible Decisions
People with Alzheimer’s disease can lose their ability to make sensible decisions in everyday situations. For example, they may make bad decisions while driving or poor choices when putting on clothes based on the weather outside. They may also have difficulty managing their finances, paying their bills, or deciding what to cook for meals.
Changes in Mood and Behavior
Changes in mood and behavior are also common in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Symptoms include apathy, irritability, depression, or anxiety. As the disease progresses, these changes may become more severe and lead to wandering, aggression, confusion, and problems sleeping. Sundowning, for example, refers to a particular stage of the day in the late afternoon and early evening when some people with Alzheimer’s disease become much more restless, agitated, irritable, or confused.
Is it Alzheimer’s Disease?
Some of these symptoms could also be related to other conditions such as depression, stress, or a deficiency of Vitamin B12. Some people also suffer from a mild cognitive impairment that never develops into Alzheimer’s so it’s best to consult a doctor or healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis. Currently, there isn’t a specific test for Alzheimer’s disease but doctors can administer a combination of cognitive and memory tests with a physical examination and a review of the patient’s medical history to provide a more accurate diagnosis.
An Alzheimer’s Diagnosis Helps You Better Plan for the Future
Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is essential because it allows for earlier treatment and planning for the future. There currently is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but there are medications and therapies that can help slow the progression of the disease and improve quality of life.
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9414443888 Serenity Seniors Network.