What are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating and serious condition that affects millions of people all over the world. Most of those affected are over the age of 65, although early onset Alzheimer’s can occur in younger people. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, and the condition will become progressively worse until it leads to death. It is estimated that one in 85 people throughout the world will have Alzheimer’s disease by 2050.
Perhaps the most insidious thing about Alzheimer’s disease is how slowly it progresses and how it is often difficult to diagnose in its early stages. It’s easy to write off someone who is in the early stages of the disease as merely absent-minded and forgetful, so it’s important to be able to recognize the symptoms of Alzheimer’s so that a person with the disease can receive the help that he or she will need to live comfortably.
Memory lapses happen to everybody once in a while. People forget where they put their car keys, or they may forget about an appointment with their doctor. Poor memory isn’t a clear indicator that a person is developing Alzheimer’s disease, but it can be a symptom if it gets progressively worse. Signs that there may be a serious problem include repeating statements and questions several times without realizing that they’ve been mentioned before, completely forgetting conversations and obligations and forgetting the names of family members and common household objects.
People with Alzheimer’s often lose track of what day or season it is, and they may even forget about their current living circumstances. They also misinterpret what they see and become lost even in familiar surroundings.
Writing and Speaking
A person with Alzheimer’s disease will also have trouble finding the right words when speaking and become frustrated when they cannot carry on a normal conversation because of it. The ability to write and read is eventually lost as well.
Thinking and Concentrating
Those with Alzheimer’s will also have difficulty thinking, reasoning and concentrating, especially when it comes to numbers and other abstract concepts. This makes doing things such as managing finances incredibly difficult.
Difficulty performing Familiar Tasks
Alzheimer’s disease can also prevent one’s ability to perform once-familiar tasks. Preparing meals, playing a favorite game and sometimes even getting dressed may all become exceedingly difficult.
In the later stages of Alzheimer’s, a person may undergo changes in their mood and personality. These can be drastic and include everything from depression and social withdrawal to a loss of inhibitions, aggressive behavior and delusions.
Alzheimer’s can be a very frightening and devastating disease, especially if it goes unnoticed and untreated in its early stages. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, being able to recognize the symptoms is crucial to help sufferers maintain a healthy life for as long as they can.
By Richard Dorrough