Tuesday, October 26, 2021

10 Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Although current treatment cannot stop it from progressing, however, they can temporarily slow the worsening of Alzheimer’s Disease symptoms

A common cause of dementia among seniors is Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). It is a brain disorder that slowly deteriorates memory skills and the cognitive abilities to perform the simplest task serious enough to interfere with daily life.  It is a progressive disease as the symptoms worsen over time. The known factor is ageing as majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 or older. However, it is not just a disease of old age.

According to the World Health Organisation, India is home to four million people living with some form of dementia whereas approximately 44 million people are living with dementia worldwide making it a global health crisis. Alzheimer’s has no current cure but treatments for symptoms are available and research continues. Although current treatment cannot stop it from progressing, however, they can temporarily slow the worsening of Alzheimer’s Disease symptoms.

Here are the 10 early signs of Alzheimer’s Disease to look out for:

  1. Loss of memory – One of the most common early signs of Alzheimer’s is forgetfulness. Forgetting recently learnt information, important dates and events followed by repetitive and frequent reminders. Look out for your loved ones if they are more forgetful than usual.
  2. Unable to plan or solve problems – Working with numbers or following a plan would become a difficult task. This can be seen when the person begins to demonstrate problems maintaining monthly bills or checkbook. They will have trouble concentrating and will take much longer to get things done.
  3. Trouble completely familiar tasks – Performing day-to-day tasks will take longer as the person with Alzheimer’s will find it hard to complete the tasks. The disease slows down critical thinking. Sometimes they may also get lost driving/walking around the commonly traveled route.
  4. Difficulty finding the correct words – Individuals with Alzheimer’s may have trouble following or joining a conversation. Conversation may randomly pause in the middle, as they may forget how to finish the sentence. They may struggle with finding the correct word for specific terms. This may lead to conversations to go on a loop.
  5. Lose track of time and place – Keeping track of dates and determining time or place would become an issue as people with the disease can become increasingly forgetful about where they are, how they got there, or why they are there.
  6. Poor judgment – An individual will experience changes in judgment or decision-making. For example a poor judgment of dealing with money, hygiene – becomes less of concern as the person may experience rapid decline in bathing frequently and lack of willingness to change clothing for days, or making a bad decision once in a while.
  7. Experiencing mood changes – Extreme mood swings may occur. A noticeable change in the mood may include confusion, depression, anxiety and fearfulness. Individual may get easily upset or irritated when they are out of their comfort zone
  8. Discontinuation of work or social life – As an individual experiences change in the ability to keep up with or follow a conversation they begin to withdraw from social events, work projects, or hobbies that were important to them earlier.
  9. Misplacing belongings – Individuals may begin to put objects in unusual places and forget about them. Later on they may have trouble finding it again. As AD progresses they may even accuse of the object being stolen.
  10. Trouble with vision – Alzheimer’s sometimes affects eye sight. Because of which individuals may begin to have problems judging distance, reading, and determining color or contrast.

Watch out for your loved ones if they are displaying these symptoms.

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