Five ‘Early’ Alzheimer’s Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore
Dementia describes a group of symptoms associated with ongoing cognitive decline. While the greatest known risk of developing dementia is age-related, the condition is not considered a normal part of aging. Being able to quickly spot warning signs can buy you valuable time to intervene before it’s too late. Here are five “early” signs that shouldn’t be ignored.
While there is currently no cure for dementia, early diagnosis can help you get the right treatment right away, putting awareness of your symptoms in the spotlight.
Memory loss is one of the most well-known warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease, but other, more subtle signs can appear.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are five warning signs that can be red flags.
Problems in planning or problem solving
Whether you’re trying to follow a family recipe or keep track of monthly bills, some people with dementia find it hard to follow a plan or work with numbers.
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Alzheimer’s disease can also cause trouble concentrating, which can mean you need a lot more time to do things you normally do.
One typical feature in this category is “occasional errors” in managing finances or household accounts.
Difficulty doing familiar tasks
Like the struggle to follow a family recipe, things you’ve done hundreds of times can suddenly become alien.
People with Alzheimer’s often struggle with simple daily tasks, from driving to a familiar place to recording their favorite TV show.
Confusion with time or place
When you’re on vacation or taking a break from work, it’s easy to forget what day it is and let the time slip by.
However, people with Alzheimer’s disease lose track not only of dates, but also of seasons.
Patients may even forget where they are and how they got there.
Problems with words in speech or writing
If you keep finding yourself unable to subscribe to or join a conversation, this could be a red flag.
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Sometimes patients stop in the middle of a conversation and don’t know how to continue or may repeat what they have already said.
In addition, they may develop vocabulary problems, trouble naming a familiar item, or start using incorrect names.
Loss of things
Always looking for your phone and keys? Putting things in unusual places or losing items is another “early” sign of Alzheimer’s disease.
To make matters worse, patients often find that they cannot retrace their steps to find misplaced items again.
Also, you may start blaming others for stealing your belongings, especially as the disease progresses.
The Alzheimer’s Association advises: “If you notice one or more of the signs in yourself or another person, it can be difficult to know what to do.
“It’s natural to feel insecure or nervous when discussing these changes with others.
“However, these are serious health issues that a doctor should evaluate, and it is important to take action to find out what is going on.”
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