According the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia.
It is a brain disease that causes the decline of memory, thinking and reasoning skills. Early detection of Alzheimer’s is important to get the maximum benefits from the available treatments. Here are some early signs and symptoms to watch for:
- Memory loss — While forgetting names or appointments can be a common part of the aging process, once it starts to disrupt daily life it can be a sign of something more. If you or a loved one is forgetting important dates, asking for the same information over and over again or relying heavily on memory aids, it could be a sign of Alzheimer’s.
- Changes in Mood or Personality — If you or a loved one is becoming increasingly confused, suspicious or anxious, it could be a sign of Alzheimer’s.
- Challenges in Planning or Solving Problems — Some people experience difficulty with following a plan and recipes, or working with numbers. It could be harder for them to concentrate, meaning simple tasks take a lot more time than usual.
- Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks — Whether at home, work or at leisure, people with Alzheimer’s have a difficult time completing their daily tasks such as driving, managing a budget or remembering the rules of a game.
- Confusion of Time and Place — People who have Alzheimer’s may lose track of the time, seasons or dates. They also maybe forget where they are and how they got there.
- Problems with Speaking or Writing — Alzheimer’s can cause people to forget what they were saying mid-conversation or struggle with vocabulary, causing them to call objects the wrong name.
- Vision Problems — Changes in vision are also part of the aging process, but if there is an increased difficulty of reading, judging distances or determining colors it could be a sign of Alzheimer’s.
- Misplacing things — People with Alzheimer’s may put or leave things in unusual places and then have difficulty re-tracing their steps.
- Poor Decision-Making — Changes in decision-making or consistent poor judgement can be a sign of Alzheimer’s. People may also pay less attention to keeping themselves clean.
- Become Anti-Social—A person with Alzheimer’s may become with withdrawn and stop social activities, hobbies and more. They don’t understand the changes they are going through so they avoid others.
If you or a loved one is experiencing one or more of these signs or symptoms please consult your doctor.