10 Early Signs and Symptoms To Recognize Alzheimer’s Disease

More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. It is the most common form of dementia and it’s the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

Below are 10 warning signs and symptoms, from the Alzheimer’s Association, that may signify that you or a loved one may have Alzheimer’s disease. Individuals may experience one or more of these signs in a different degree. If you notice any of them, visit your doctor.

1. Memory Loss That Disrupts Daily Life

One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s is memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned information.

2. Challenges in Planning or Solving Problems
Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. For example, having difficulty following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills.

3. Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks at Home, Work or at Leisure
People with Alzheimer’s often find it hard to complete daily tasks – driving to a familiar location, remembering the rules of a favorite game.

4. Confusion with Time or Place
People with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. They may forget where they are or how they got there.

5. Trouble Understanding Visual Images and Spatial Relationships
For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer’s – difficulty reading, judging distance.

6. New Problems with Words in Speaking or Writing
People with Alzheimer’s may have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue, or they may repeat themselves.

7. Misplacing Things and Losing the Ability to Retrace Steps
A person with Alzheimer’s may put things in unusual places or lose things and be unable to find them.

8. Decreased or Poor Judgment
People with Alzheimer’s may experience changes in judgment or decision-making. They may pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean.

9. Withdrawal from Work or Social Activities
A person with Alzheimer’s may start to remove themselves from social activities, hobbies, sports or work projects.

10. Changes in Mood or Personality
People with Alzheimer’s can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious.

To learn more about these signs, and the difference between Alzheimer’s and typical age-related changes, click here.
To learn about myths surrounding Alzheimer’s, click here.
To learn more about dementia, click here.
For more information about Alzheimer’s Disease, visit the Alzheimer’s Association website.
You can also call the 24-hour helpline from the Alzheimer’s Association at 1-800-272-3900.

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