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What Are The Signs Of Alzheimer's Disease?

Posted by Total Access Medical on Jun 18, 2024

Screen Shot 2024-06-05 at 1.30.54 PMAlzheimer's disease is a chronic condition that causes memory loss and confusion. An estimated 6.9 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s disease in 2024. 73% are age 75 or older.

As the disease worsens, people may experience other cognitive difficulties. Some signs of Alzheimer's disease include:

Memory loss that disrupts daily life: One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s dementia, especially in the early stage, is forgetting recently learned information. Others include asking the same questions over and over, and increasingly needing to rely on memory aids (for example, reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things that used to be handled on one’s own.

Challenges in planning or solving problems: Some people 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.

Difficulty completing familiar tasks: People with Alzheimer’s often find it hard to complete daily tasks. Sometimes, people have trouble driving to a familiar location, organizing a grocery list or remembering the rules of a favorite game.

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 forget where they are or how they got there.

Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships: For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer’s. They may also have problems judging distance and determining color and contrast, causing issues with driving.

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 they may repeat themselves. They may struggle with vocabulary, have trouble  naming a familiar object or use the wrong name (e.g., calling a watch a “hand clock”).

Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps: People 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. They may accuse others of stealing, especially as the disease progresses.

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.

Withdrawal from work or social activities: People living with Alzheimer’s disease may experience changes in the ability to hold or follow a conversation. As a result, they may withdraw from hobbies, social activities or other engagements. They may have trouble keeping up with a favorite sports team or activity.

Changes in mood, personality and behavior: The mood and personalities of people living 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 when out of their comfort zones.

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Topics: Alzheimer's, brain health