Alzheimer’s disease is the most prevalent type of dementia, causing a gradual deterioration of memory function, reasoning and other cognitive abilities that can hinder the normal activities of daily life.
If you or a loved one is experiencing one or more of the following Alzheimer’s symptoms, please consult your physician to find out what the next steps for diagnosis and treatment are.
1. Loss of Memory
Forgetting important dates and events, as well as information that was recently learned, is one of the most typical Alzheimer’s symptoms. The need to have information repeated again and again, as well as an increased need to use memory aids (sticky notes or labels), can also indicate the presence of the disease.
2. Problem-Solving Difficulties
Another signpost of Alzheimer’s disease is when you or someone close to you has trouble cultivating and sticking to a plan, following well-known recipes, or demonstrates increased challenges when working with numbers or keeping up on monthly bills. Concentrating may prove increasingly difficult, and getting things done may take significantly more time than in the past.
3. Trouble Completing Common Tasks
Common daily activities may become progressively more difficult, such as driving to a well-known place. Alzheimer’s sufferers typically will have trouble recalling the simple rules of a loved game or dressing themselves.
4. Difficulty Establishing Time and Place
Patients with Alzheimer’s can become increasingly confused about where they are located, and determining how they got there. They can easily forget dates, seasons and the normal passing of time.
Any past occurrence or event not happening in the immediate present will become more and more challenging to remember, as will planning for events in the future.
5. Visual and Spatial Problems
Some individuals may experience problems with reading, perceiving distance and recognizing color contrasts; this often leads to difficulty when driving.
6. Difficulty Expressing Oneself
As Alzheimer’s symptoms progress, individuals may lose the ability to find the right words, either in conversation or in writing. It may prove difficult to join an ongoing conversation, or to complete a thought once spoken aloud.
The Alzheimer’s Association commonly explains this phenomenon to friends and family of Alzheimer’s patients as: “I know what I want to say, I just can’t find the words.”
7. Frequently Misplacing Things
Alzheimer’s sufferers will often lose things and have trouble remembering where they placed them. When found, the items may turn up in odd places. Sometimes a certain paranoia may creep in that other people are stealing.
8. Problems with Decision Making
Alzheimer’s symptoms can involve increased poor judgment regarding financial affairs and personal hygiene. Mismanaging money, or making large donations to questionable organizations can be a tell-tale sign. Paying less and less attention to bathing, changing clothes and grooming is also typical as the disease advances.
9. Avoiding Friends and Co-workers
As Alzheimer’s symptoms worsen, individuals may start to withdraw from social engagements, work outings or well-loved sporting activities. They may have trouble engaging in hobbies and activities that are an important part of their lifestyle.
10. Mood Swings
Patients with Alzheimer’s can experience fluctuations in their mood, typically in situations where they are outside of their comfort zone, either at home or at the office. As a result, they may get:
If you or someone close to you is experiencing symptoms that could be the result of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, you should make an appointment with your physician.