Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s DiseasePhoto Credit: The Learning Hawk

In this article, we’ll look specifically at the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia. The disease is most prevalent among elderly people 65 years old and above. However, there are cases in which younger people have been diagnosed with it, and many of the signs can be visible in a person as early as their forties and fifties.

The causes of Alzheimer’s disease are yet to be established. Researchers seem to agree that the disease does not have just one cause, but is due to a complex series of events that take place in the brain over a long period of time. Genetics, lifestyle factors, and environmental factors most likely all play into an individual’s likelihood of getting the disease.

Looking at the following signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s can help a family spot it early on. In some cases, its progression can be slowed if spotted early enough.

Signs of Alzheimer’s

Early on, increasing forgetfulness or even mild confusion might be the only signs of Alzheimer’s that are noticeable. However, as time goes by, this disease takes away one’s memory, specifically memory for new information. Signs of the disease will often multiply over time, but the rate at which that happens differs from person to person.

The individual suffering from Alzheimer’s might be the first person to recognize that he or she is experiencing unusual difficulty recalling things and organizing their thoughts. This person may at the same time find it difficult to notice that anything is wrong at all. Sometimes, a family member will be the first to notice a clear difference.

Every person struggles to remember a name once in a while, so how will you know when the situation is serious? A single sign of Alzheimer’s is not necessarily an indication that a person has the disease. After all, there are many other things that could lead to memory loss, such as liver or kidney disorders and deficiency of vitamin B12. However, whenever a person or family member has a suspicion that the disease could be present, it’s never a bad idea to visit the physician and be tested.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

There are many possible symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease. People suffering from Alzheimer’s may exhibit any of the following:

  • Forgetting conversations, events, or appointments and not remembering them later

  • Repeatedly misplacing possessions, often putting them in illogical places

  • Repeating statements and questions several times, not realizing they have been stated or asked before

  • Forgetting the names of family members and familiar objects

  • Increased difficulty with reading and writing

  • Difficulty in thinking and reasoning, especially when numbers are involved (such as in keeping track of finances, balancing checkbooks, and paying bills on time)

  • Decreased ability to judge basic things like the need to turn off the stove when food is burning

  • Inability to react quickly when driving

  • Changes in behavior and personality, such as social withdrawal, mood swings, depression, distrust of others, hallucinations, and changes in sleeping habits

Again, it is never a bad idea to visit a physician if you have noticed a loved one dealing with any of the previous items, which could be indicators of Alzheimer’s. If you do find out that a family member has Alzheimer’s disease, we encourage you to consider finding an in home caregiver to help relieve stress and to help with many activities of daily living and hands-on care needs.