July 29, 2010
Here are some of the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. You should speak to your doctor if you are concerned about these things, as they could also be signs of other health issues.
- Difficulty performing otherwise familiar tasks, such as preparing a meal, opening a car window or using a household appliance can be signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Memory loss that affects job skills. It is normal to occasionally forget an assignment or a colleagues phone number, but it is not normal to frequently forget such things or to become so confused that you are unable to concentrate and cannot perform your job functions.
- Problems using language may be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease. Although it is normal to forget words, people with Alzheimer’s disease may become hard to understand and may substitute unusual words or phrases for forgotten ones. A person with Alzheimer’s disease may appear to have become less fluent and may also have difficulty writing coherently.
- Disorientation to time and place. It is normal to sometimes lose track of time or to become lost, but a person with Alzheimer’s can forget what year it is and can become lost on familiar streets and not be able to find their way home.
- Loss of good judgment may also be a warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease. This could take the form of wearing inappropriate clothing (e.g. pajamas worn outside in winter) or suddenly giving away large amounts of money.
- Problems with abstract thinking. It is normal to make a mistake balancing a checkbook, but people with Alzheimer’s disease may forget the meaning of numbers or what to do with them.
- Misplacing things. It is normal to misplace things occasionally, but putting things in unusual places, like an iron in the refrigerator or a watch in the sugar bowl are warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Rapid mood swings such as unexplained anger or going from apparent calm to sudden crying can be warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Personality changes. As people age, their personalities may also gradually change, but for a person with Alzheimer’s disease the changes in personality are often sudden and dramatic.
- Loss of initiative, sleeping longer than usual, and loss of interest in the usual activities can be signs of depression, but are also warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease.