November 16, 2017

Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

General Health
Primary Care

10 Signs To Know For Early Detection

As we get older in life, our memory often changes. But memory loss that interrupts our lives is not a typical part of aging. Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia, which is a slow decline in memory. Alzheimer’s disease is a fatal disorder that results in the loss of brain cells and function.

Understanding and knowing the difference between age-related changes and the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease can be difficult. Some people may recognize changes in themselves before anyone else notices while other times, friends and family will be the first to notice changes in memory, behavior or abilities.

Let’s take a look at the 10 signs of early detection:

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life – One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s disease, especially in the early stages, is forgetting recently learned information. Asking for the same information over and over, and increasingly needing to rely on memory aids or family for things they used to handle on their own.
  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. Concentration becomes difficult and following simple things like a familiar recipe or keeping track of bills becomes hard.
  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure – Alzheimer’s sufferers often find it difficult to complete daily tasks. Sometimes they may have trouble driving to a familiar location or remembering the rules to a favorite game.
  4. Confusion with time or place – People with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time.
  5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships – Having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer’s. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast, which may cause driving problems.
  6. New problems with words in speaking or writing – People with Alzheimer’s disease may have trouble following or joining in on a conversation. They may stop in the middle of conversations and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves.
  7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps – People 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.
  8. Decreased or poor judgment – Alzheimer’s sufferers may experience changes in judgment or decision-making. They may use poor judgment when dealing with money and pay less attention to grooming themselves.
  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities – People who suffer from this disease may start to remove themselves from favorite hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports. They may also avoid being social because of the changes they experience.
  10. Changes in mood and personality – The mood and personalities of people with Alzheimer’s can change. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends or in places where they are out of their comfort zone.

If you know someone that is experience any of the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease, please see a doctor to find the cause. Early diagnosis gives you a chance to seek treatment and plan for the future.

It’s also incredibly important to remember that those who care for people with Alzheimer’s disease also go through a lot. Be sure to check out My Two Elaines: Learning, Coping, and Surviving as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver. This book looks at Martin J. Schreiber’s incredibly story of caring for his wife who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. “Marty’s story of selflessness and struggle will offer strength for many caregivers across our country who act as everyday heroes.”

You can find the book at

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