Detecting the early signs of Alzheimer's disease
- Author Don Milne
- Published April 11, 2019
- Word count 613
Are you concerned about your mental alertness? Or perhaps you’re worried about a loved one instead?
There are several different symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and being able to detect them at an early stage can help save you and your loved ones.
- Memory loss
It is important to remember that mild forgetfulness is a normal part of aging and having trouble remembering someone’s name isn’t a severe memory problem if it comes to you at a later stage.
The point where forgetfulness becomes an issue is when it starts to affect your daily life. Serious memory problems may be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease and should be addressed immediately.
- Challenges in planning and problem solving
An indicative sign of Alzheimer’s disease includes difficulty in making or following a plan and solving problems. More commonly identified when working with numbers, the root of the issue lies in concentration difficulties where mental sharpness is impaired. Although occasional errors are to be expected, especially as you grow older, this becomes a problem when these challenges start to affect daily life.
- Difficulty accomplishing familiar tasks
One of the most telling tales of Alzheimer's is finding difficulty in completing familiar tasks that form part of your daily routine. From having trouble driving to a usual place to facing issues managing ordinary work tasks or remembering the rules of a favourite game, the point of not knowing isn’t age-related.
Typical age-related changes include the occasional need for assistance in using technical gadgets or recording your favourite television show.
- Confusion with time and place
Alzheimer’s can cause failure to remember time, date, location suddenly. This confusion leads to trouble in understanding what’s happening around the affected person such as forgetting where they are or how they got there.
An age-related change of this nature includes being confused about the day or date but figuring it out in time.
- Trouble with vision or spatial awareness
Some people affected by Alzheimer’s May face issues with vision and spatial awareness such as difficulty in reading or judging distance to determining contrast or colour. This should be distinguished by age-related changes such as affected vision due to cataracts.
- Sudden problem with speaking or writing
It is normal to forget the correct use of vocabulary or have occasional trouble with finding the right words. What is not normal is when the issue arises mid-conversation and the affected person seems to struggle with their words suddenly, what they are speaking about and uses the wrong terminology to express themselves.
- Misplacing things and not being able to retrace steps
Being forgetful and misplacing things is normal especially when you can retrace your steps and find the missing item in time. Forgetfulness becomes an issue when people start putting things in unusual places, for example placing a shoe in the fridge. Other concerning actions including frequent accusations of others stealing their belongings.
- Noticeable decrease in judgement
Although your mental awareness decreased over time, significant changes in the decision-making process are often associated with Alzheimer’s disease. For example, changes in the way they deal with money such as giving vast amounts of telemarketers could be a tell-tale sign. Other changes include a decrease in attention to personal hygiene and appearance especially if the individual usually is particular about these aspects.
An age-related change is when someone makes a bad decision occasionally without making the same mistakes repeatedly within short periods.
Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease makes a difference. If you notice any of these 8 early signs in yourself or someone around you, make an effort to schedule an appointment with your general practitioner to confirm your situation.
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