6.5 MILLION Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease.
By 2050, this number is projected to rise to nearly 13 MILLION.
Early detection of Alzheimer's or other dementia offers significant benefits for the person diagnosed and their loved ones. If you or your family notice changes, it could be Alzheimer's or MCI (mild cognitive impairment). Trust yourself, talk to a loved one and see a doctor together.
Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disease and the most common form of dementia. Dementia is not a specific disease. It's an overall term that describes a group of symptoms.
10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer's
Memory loss that disrupts daily life may be a symptom of Alzheimer's or other dementia. Alzheimer's is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. There are 10 warning signs and symptoms. If you notice any of them, don't ignore them. Schedule an appointment with your doctor.
If you notice any of these signs, take action.
1. MEMORY LOSS THAT DISRUPTS DAILY LIFE.
One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s disease, especially in the early stage, is forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events, asking the same question over and over again, or increasingly needing to rely on memory aids (e.g., reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things the person used to handle on their own.
2. CHALLENGES IN PLANNING OR SOLVING PROBLEMS.
Some people living with dementia may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. They may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before.
3. DIFFICULTY COMPLETING FAMILIAR TASKS.
People living with Alzheimer’s disease often find it hard to complete routine tasks. Sometimes they may have trouble driving to a familiar location, organizing a grocery list or remembering the rules of a favorite game.
4. CONFUSION WITH TIME OR PLACE.
People living with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. They may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there.
5. TROUBLE UNDERSTANDING VISUAL IMAGES AND SPATIAL RELATIONSHIPS.
For some people, vision problems are a sign of Alzheimer’s. They may also have problems judging distance and determining color or contrast, causing issues with driving.
6. NEW PROBLEMS WITH WORDS IN SPEAKING OR WRITING.
People living 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 repeat themselves. They may struggle with vocabulary, have trouble naming a familiar object or use the wrong name.
7. MISPLACING THINGS AND LOSING THE ABILITY TO RETRACE STEPS.
A person living with Alzheimer’s may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. He or she may accuse others of stealing, especially as the disease progresses.
8. DECREASED OR POOR JUDGMENT.
Individuals may experience changes in judgment or decision-making. For example, they may use poor judgment when dealing with money, or pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean.
9. WITHDRAWAL FROM WORK OR SOCIAL ACTIVITIES.
A person living with Alzheimer’s may experience changes in the ability to hold or follow a conversation. As a result, he or she may withdraw from hobbies, social activities or other engagements. They may have trouble keeping up with a favorite team or activity.
10. CHANGES IN MOOD AND PERSONALITY.
Individuals living with Alzheimer’s may experience mood and personality changes. They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends or when out of their comfort zone.