Many people struggle with losing track of things as they get older. You may have heard it called “senior moments” or simply forgetting where you put your keys. But when does occasional forgetfulness turn into something more? How can you tell if it’s Alzheimer’s disease?
It’s important to be able to identify the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease, as it can help you get treatment sooner. This article will give a brief overview of some of the most common early symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Keep in mind that everyone experiences Alzheimer’s differently, so not everyone will experience all of these symptoms. If you are worried about yourself or a loved one, please consult a doctor for an accurate diagnosis.
Loss Of Memory
Memory loss is one of the earliest and most common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. As the disease progresses, individuals may find it increasingly difficult to remember recent events. This such as names, faces, and places. Fortunately, in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, memory loss is usually mild and does not significantly interfere with daily life. However, as the disease progresses, memory loss can become severe and can cause individuals to lose the ability to function independently.
Therefore, if you or someone you know is experiencing memory loss, it is crucial to see a doctor for a full evaluation. Early diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s can improve the quality of life and help slow the disease’s progression.
Some examples of loss of memory include:
- Forgetting recent events or conversations
- Struggling to remember familiar people, places, or things
- Repeating yourself often
- Asking the same questions over and over again
Difficulty Performing Familiar Tasks
Alzheimer’s is a debilitating disease that impacts memory, thinking, and behavior. It is the most common form of dementia, and there is no known cure. Therefore, early diagnosis is critical, as patients may be able to receive treatment that can help to slow the progression of the disease. One of the early signs of Alzheimer’s is difficulty performing familiar tasks. This can range from simple things like forgetting how to make a cup of coffee to more complex activities like balancing a checkbook.
In many cases, patients will begin to experience difficulty with tasks they have been performing for years without issue. If you or a loved one are having difficulty with everyday tasks, it is essential to consult a doctor. While it may be something harmless, it could also be an early sign of Alzheimer’s.
- Examples of this sign include:
- Forgetting how to perform a familiar task
- Struggling to complete an everyday task
- Taking longer than usual to complete a routine task
- Making errors when completing an ordinary task
Loss Of Speech Or Language
While it’s normal to have trouble finding the right word occasionally, people with Alzheimer’s may have more difficulty speaking or understanding words. They may also repeat themselves more often or have difficulty following conversations. Since communication is such an essential part of daily life, these changes can be frustrating and isolating for both the person with Alzheimer’s and their loved ones. If you notice any changes in your loved one’s speech or language, it’s important to talk to their doctor.
Examples to be aware of include:
- Finding it hard to follow or join a conversation
- Repeating themselves often
- Mixing up words or using made-up words
- Taking longer to say what they want to
- Struggling to understand what others are saying
Trouble With Decision Making
For most people, making decisions is a relatively straightforward process. You weigh your options, consider the possible outcomes, and then come to a conclusion. However, decision-making can become increasingly difficult for those with Alzheimer’s disease. Trouble with decision-making is one of the warning signs of Alzheimer’s, and it can profoundly impact a person’s life. Many people with Alzheimer’s disease find themselves unable to make even simple decisions, such as what to wear or what to eat.
This inability can lead to feelings of anxiety and frustration, and it can make everyday tasks seem impossible. Therefore, if you notice someone you love having difficulty making decisions, it may be time to seek medical help.
Examples of this symptom include:
- Asking the same question over and over
- Being unable to make decisions about routine tasks such as what to wear
- Unable to plan or follow through with activities
Experiencing Social Withdrawal
One of the earliest warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease is social withdrawal. As the disease progresses, people with Alzheimer’s may start to pull away from activities they once enjoyed and become more withdrawn and introspective. In some cases, they may stop talking altogether.
As you get older, withdrawing slightly from social situations is not out of the ordinary. However, those with Alzheimer’s usually display a marked change in behavior that can be worrying for family and friends. If you’re concerned that someone you know may be exhibiting signs of social withdrawal, it’s important to talk to their doctor.
Some examples of this behavior include:
- Avoiding eye contact
- Not wanting to participate in conversations
- Appearing distant or detached from loved ones
- Withdrawing from favorite activities
- Choosing to spend more time alone.
Sudden Mood Changes
As people age, it’s normal for them to experience some changes in their mood. However, sudden and dramatic mood swings can be a warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease. The cause of these mood swings may be due to the same as the cause of Alzheimer’s itself: the buildup of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain. These plaques damage neurons and interfere with their ability to communicate with each other.
In addition, this can lead to changes in mood, behavior, and cognition. While not all sudden mood changes are indicative of Alzheimer’s, it’s essential to speak with a doctor if you or a loved one experiences any sudden or unexplained changes in mood.
Examples of this symptom include:
• Becoming unusually irritable or angry for no apparent reason
• Displaying sudden outbursts of crying or laughter
• Having mood swings that are more extreme than usual
Decrease In Judgment Skills
Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and cognitive skills. Early-onset of this disease can begin to affect people in their 50s and 60s, and one of the first signs is often a decline in judgment skills. Sadly, this may manifest as poor decision-making, impulsive behavior, or an inability to follow instructions. Unfortunately, as the disease progresses, these judgment impairments can become more severe, eventually leading to complete disorientation and confusion.
Some examples of poor judgment in early-onset Alzheimer’s patients include:
- Wearing inappropriate clothing for the weather or season
- Giving large amounts of money to strangers
- Neglecting personal hygiene
- Engaging in risky behaviors, such as driving without a license or walking alone at night
Loss Of Writing Ability
A loss of writing ability can manifest itself in several ways, such as losing the ability to write complete sentences or being unable to remember how to spell common words. However, in some cases, people with Alzheimer’s may also begin to write in a disorganized or chaotic manner. Furthermore, while this symptom may be subtle at first, it can signify that the disease is progressing. Therefore, if you notice any changes in your writing ability, it’s important to see a doctor to begin treatment.
Signs of this behavior include:
- Inability to write complete sentences
- Forgetting how to spell common words
- Writing in a disorganized or chaotic manner
Be Aware Of These Early Signs Of Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and cognitive skills. However, while it is most commonly a disease that affects older adults, it can also affect younger adults. Therefore, if you notice any of the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s, you must see a doctor to get an accurate diagnosis. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, early diagnosis and treatment can help slow the progression of the disease. This can significantly improve your quality of life.