Alzheimer’s Disease: Early Signs

Early signs of Alzheimer's diseaseOne of the symptoms that may indicate the onset of Alzheimer’s disease is when a person begins to forget words and therefore cannot maintain a conversation.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disease that directly affects memory as well as the ability to think and behave. This most common form of dementia is characterized by loss of memory and intellectual abilities, and therefore negatively affects the patient’s quality of life.

Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60-80% of dementia cases worldwide and affects more than 5.4 million people in the United States. According to preliminary estimates, by 2030 this figure will reach 16 million.

Although it mostly occurs at an older age, the first symptoms can begin to appear as early as 30 years old. Timely detection of signs of the disease is very important for diagnosis and early treatment. That is why it is necessary to know about the possible symptoms in order to learn to distinguish Alzheimer’s disease from other mental disorders.

Early signs of Alzheimer’s disease

Sudden changes in memory

The first sign of Alzheimer’s disease, especially in the early stages, is when you start to forget the information you’ve just learned, such as important dates and events.

In general, during the onset of this symptom, the affected person will start using notes or electronic devices to remember things that they could have easily remembered.

Planning and problem-solving become difficult

Some lose the ability to make or stick to a plan that involves using numbers. Difficulties may also arise with simple tasks such as cooking a meal according to a well-known recipe or paying the monthly bills.

Problems with performing well-known tasks

Quite often, people with Alzheimer’s disease find it difficult to carry out daily tasks both at home and at work. They may find it difficult to get to a familiar place, manage their expenses, or remember the rules of a favorite game.

Disorientation

As the disease progresses, a person begins to forget dates and reasons and loses track of time. This symptom requires special attention because the patient can forget where he is and how he got there.

Loss of interest and motivation

The emotional changes caused by Alzheimer’s disease can change a person’s interest and cause them to lose interest in things they used to love. Social isolation and a sudden lack of interest are signs that something is wrong.

Speech problems

Alzheimer’s disease makes it difficult for a person to follow or participate in a conversation. This occurs due to forgetting words and losing the ability to understand speech and writing.

Quite often, it is difficult to choose the right words, for example, the patient does not say “pen”, but “writing stick”.

A person forgets where everything lies

If someone forgets where to put something, this can also be an early symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. For example, a person can put an iron in the refrigerator or forget where he always put the same thing.

Inability to make decisions

This disease can reduce or destroy a person’s ability to make important decisions, particularly regarding finances.

The patient does not know how to manage money and may give too large amounts to sellers or telemarketers.

Loss of initiative

A lack of desire to do familiar things can be a sign that something is wrong. Alzheimer’s disease leads to a loss of initiative to spend time as before or to participate in cultural and social activities, projects, or sports.

In addition, such changes may cause a loss of interest in any group activity.

Changes in mood or personality

Changes in mood or personality are most noticeable in Alzheimer’s patients. This applies to both the early and late stages of the disease.

Quite often, patients will feel confused, depressed, and consumed by suspicion, fear, or anxiety. In addition, they can become very irritable and angry at everyone around them.

Picture Credit: VistaCreate

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