Aug 2, 2010

What are the Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease?

Typically, early signs of Alzheimer's and dementia are missed because a person in an early stage of dementia can still do every day functions like driving a car or shopping for groceries.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

The Goal of the Alzheimer's Reading Room

Early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease are difficult to detect.

Early Alzheimer's symptoms include slight memory loss, subtle changes in behavior, and confusion. Changes in behavior and confusion often alert families that something is wrong health wise. It is always a good idea to get the memory tested in any person over 65 years old that starts to evidence short term memory loss, moods swings, uncharacteristic behavior like meanness, or starts mentioning insecurities about normal behaviors like going out after dark.

As Alzheimer's progresses memory problems persist and worsen.

Symptoms Of Alzheimer's Disease
  • Memory loss
  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Changes in personality
  • Loss of initiative
  • Difficulty performing familiar tasks
  • Problems with language
  • Disorientation to time and place
  • Poor or decreased judgment
  • Problems with abstract thinking
  • Changes in gait or walking
  • Misplacing things

People with Alzheimer's often:
  • Repeat themselves
  • Forget conversations
  • Routinely misplace things, often putting them in illogical locations
  • Have problems with abstract thinking
  • Are unable to maintain a schedule or keep appointments
  • Eventually forget the names of family members and everyday objects
One early sign of Alzheimer's is the inability to balance a checkbook or properly manage  finances. Eventually this worsens until a person has trouble recognizing and dealing with numbers.

Disorientation is another early sign of Alzheimer's. The inability to drive to and locate familiar places. The inability to find the bathroom in the home of a close friend or relative.

Persons's suffering from Alzheimer's disease often lose their sense of time, days, dates, and years.

They can find themselves lost in familiar surroundings.

Hoarding can be an early sign of Alzheimer's. Continually buying items like toilet paper, tooth paste, shampoo, or salad dressing can be a sign of mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's or dementia.

Personality changes can be an early sign of Alzheimer's. Constant worries about money. Accusing others of stealing or people talking about them behind their back are examples.

Behaviors include:
  • Mood swings
  • Distrust in others
  • Increased stubbornness
  • Social withdrawal
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Aggressiveness
are all signs of Alzheimer's disease.

For a more comprehensive description of Alzheimer's disease including: symptoms, causes, treatments, drugs, testing and diagnosis go here.

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Bob DeMarco
Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). Bob is a recognized expert, writer, speaker, and influencer in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community worldwide. The ARR Knowledge Base contains more than 4,600 articles. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room