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Signs Of Early Alzheimer’s Disease

Symptoms Of Mild Cognitive Impairment

Alzheimers Disease – Early Signs (video)

Some people have a condition called mild cognitive impairment, or MCI. It can be an early sign of Alzheimers. But, not everyone with MCI will develop Alzheimers disease. People with MCI can still take care of themselves and do their normal activities. MCI memory problems may include:

  • Losing things often
  • Forgetting to go to events or appointments
  • Having more trouble coming up with words than other people the same age

Learn more about Alzheimer’s disease from MedlinePlus.

Challenges With Direction And Time

For people living with Alzheimers disease, details associated with time and space are frequently forgotten. They often lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. It also becomes increasingly hard to get a sense of direction.

A person with Alzheimers may get lost going home or not understand where they are, even when theyre in their own home. Or they may keep putting on a heavy winter coat although its a hot summer day.

In later stages, wandering becomes an issue for some Alzheimers patients. This is particularly dangerous if a patient wanders away from home unobserved or in the middle of the night and cant make their way back.

Struggling To Adapt To Change

For someone in the early stages of dementia, the experience can cause fear. Suddenly, they cant remember people they know or follow what others are saying. They cant remember why they went to the store, and they get lost on the way home.

Because of this, they might crave routine and be afraid to try new experiences. Difficulty adapting to change is also a typical symptom of early dementia.

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Taking Longer To Complete Basic Tasks

As most people get older, they tend to slow down a little bit, both physically and mentally. However, if you’re losing the ability to follow plans and having trouble concentrating, meaning things take considerably longer than they used to, that could be an indication an Alzheimer’s diagnosis isn’t far off.

Are Early Signs Of Dementia Obvious

Stages of Alzheimer

Changes in a person in the early stages of dementia can be so gradual they can often be mistaken for normal ageing. Because dementia affects people in different ways, symptoms may not always be obvious. In fact, failure to recognise early signs often leads to people not being diagnosed for several years.

So what to look for? Perhaps someone you care for is struggling to remember what they did yesterday and forgets the names of friends or everyday objects. They may have difficulty following conversations or TV programmes, repeat things over and over, or have problems thinking or reasoning. They may feel angry, anxious or depressed about memory loss or feel confused even in a familiar environment.

The healthtalk website presents a range of carers experiences of identifying the early signs of dementia. One carer put it this way.

The first stage is not recognisable I think, or certainly wasnt recognisable as far as I was concerned initially . I was certainly not understanding… the fact that my wife was at the beginning of a serious problem, a serious mental health problem. Because I was with my wife continuously, I think I was less likely to recognise some of the changes that were taking place than people who saw her less regularly.

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Early Alzheimers Or Just Forgetful

One of the earliest and most well-known symptoms of Alzheimers is episodic short-term memory loss forgetting appointments or recent conversations, for example. Other symptoms of Alzheimers may include:

  • Repeating questions

  • Trouble performing or taking longer to perform familiar tasks

  • Difficulty learning and remembering new information

  • Trouble managing finances

  • Withdrawing from work or social activities

  • Difficulty performing multistep tasks

  • Confusion with time or place

  • Insomnia

  • Changes in mood and personality, such as agitation, anxiety or depression

  • Poor judgment

These symptoms can simply be part of aging, but once they start negatively affecting quality of life, its time to see your doctor. As Alzheimers progresses, so do the symptoms. Later-stage Alzheimers patients may have these symptoms:

  • Trouble recognizing family and friends

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Difficulty finding the right words or speaking

  • Struggling with reading, writing and simple math.

Signs Of Mild Alzheimers Disease

In mild Alzheimers disease, a person may seem to be healthy but has more and more trouble making sense of the world around him or her. The realization that something is wrong often comes gradually to the person and his or her family. Problems can include:

  • Memory loss
  • Poor judgment leading to bad decisions
  • Loss of spontaneity and sense of initiative
  • Taking longer to complete normal daily tasks
  • Repeating questions
  • Increased sleeping
  • Loss of bowel and bladder control

A common cause of death for people with Alzheimers disease is aspiration pneumonia. This type of pneumonia develops when a person cannot swallow properly and takes food or liquids into the lungs instead of air.

There is currently no cure for Alzheimers, though there are medicines that can treat the symptoms of the disease.

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Trouble Understanding Visual Images And Spatial Relationships

Vision problems can be a sign of Alzheimer’s, including difficulty reading, judging distances, and determining color or contrast.

For instance, your loved one falls down the stairs or off of a curb because they misjudge the height of the step-down. Some people with Alzheimer’s also don’t recognize their own reflections.

How To Get Help For Your Parents Dementia Symptoms

Alzheimers Disease – Early Signs

Its important to find professional help after noticing early symptoms of dementia.

  • Find the right doctor. Doctors specializing in dementia will ask about problems related to common dementia behaviors. You should look for a physician whose specialty is geriatrics, neurology, or clinical psychiatry, according to the Fisher Center for Alzheimers Research Foundation.
  • Communicate observations in detail. The more details you can share regarding warning signs of dementia, the easier it can be for a doctor to determine the cause and tests needed for a diagnosis. The doctor can also develop more effective treatment options for dementia symptoms based on the specificity of the data collected.
  • Prepare for a diagnosis. A dementia diagnosis is determined through a series of steps. There are many different possible tests to rule out other health conditions like vitamin B12 deficiency, brain tumors, thyroid conditions, and more, as some of these conditions also may cause dementia symptoms. A dementia evaluation can include:
  • Reviewing a persons medical history
  • Physical or mental exam
  • Lab tests
  • Brain imaging
  • Stay proactive. Continue to observe and take notes to help you and medical professionals determine the best care and treatment options for your mom or dad.
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    Trouble Keeping Track Of And Paying Bills

    Every month, you know exactly which bills are due and whenor at least, you used to know. In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, working with numbers becomes difficult, making it hard to ensure payments are going out on time. If you suddenly struggle to remember to pay the same bills you’ve been paying for years, talk to your doctor about the possibility of early onset dementia.

    Diminished Sense Of Smell

    You used to be able to smell those fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies immediately, and now you hardly notice them. According to the National Institute on Aging, losing your sense of smell can be a symptom of Alzheimer’s, so it’s crucial to bring it up to your doctor if you notice any changes. Loss of smell and taste is also a symptom of coronavirus. And for more concerning COVID-19 signs, check out 13 Coronavirus Symptoms That Are More Common Than a Sore Throat.

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    What Are The Signs Of Alzheimer’s Disease

    Scientists continue to unravel the complex brain changes involved in the onset and progression of Alzheimers disease. It seems likely that damage to the brain starts a decade or more before memory and other cognitive problems appear. During this preclinical stage of Alzheimers disease, people seem to be symptom-free, but toxic changes are taking place in the brain.

    Damage occurring in the brain of someone with Alzheimers disease begins to show itself in very early clinical signs and symptoms. For most people with Alzheimersthose who have the late-onset varietysymptoms first appear in their mid-60s. Signs of early-onset Alzheimers begin between a persons 30s and mid-60s.

    The first symptoms of Alzheimers vary from person to person. Memory problems are typically one of the first signs of cognitive impairment related to Alzheimers disease. Decline in non-memory aspects of cognition, such as word-finding, vision/spatial issues, and impaired reasoning or judgment, may also signal the very early stages of Alzheimers disease. And some people may be diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. As the disease progresses, people experience greater memory loss and other cognitive difficulties.

    Alzheimers disease progresses in several stages: preclinical, mild , moderate, and severe .

    Difficulty Finding The Right Words

    Home

    Another early symptom of dementia is difficulty with communicating thoughts. A person with dementia may have a hard time explaining something or finding the right words to express themselves. They may also stop in the middle of a sentence and not know how to continue.

    Having a conversation with a person who has dementia can be challenging, and it may take longer than usual for them to express their thoughts or feelings.

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    Stopping In The Middle Of A Conversation

    If you find yourself or someone else stopping in the middle of a conversation, it could be an early sign of Alzheimer’s. When this is the case, the Alzheimer’s Association notes it’s really hard for an individual to jump back in. They have no idea how to continue on after the pause, so help them out by reminding them where you left off.

    Preparing For Early Onset Ad

    Receiving an early onset AD diagnosis can be worrying. Now is the time to put together a plan so that you have peace of mind for the future when symptoms appear or intensify.

    Try creating a plan together with your family, friends, and medical team. It can also be beneficial to meet with a financial planner and a lawyer.

    Here are some key things to consider:

    • Education. You may find it helpful to learn more about AD and how it progresses. Talk with your doctor and learn about what your care plan could look like in the future.
    • Health insurance. Find out which medications and treatments are covered by your plan.
    • Future care costs. What will your medical and care expenses be? This may include professional home care of safety equipment for the home.
    • Disability insurance. What is covered by your employer? What documentation is needed?
    • Loss of income. Will you be able to keep working? If so, for how long? Will someone in your family need to stop working in order to become a caregiver?
    • Power of attorney. Who will have the authority to make health, financial, and legal decisions for you when you cant any more?
    • Support. Try finding a support group specifically for people with early onset AD and their caregivers. Their life situations are likely to be more similar to yours.

    Its important to have a detailed, realistic plan for your future care. This will allow you to be more confident as you navigate through the stages of AD.

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    Memory Loss That Impedes Daily Activities

    The most noticeable symptom of Alzheimers disease is often memory loss . A person may start forgetting messages or recent events in a way that is unusual for them. They may repeat questions, having forgotten either the answer or the fact that they already asked.

    It is not uncommon for people to forget things as they get older, but with early onset Alzheimers disease, this happens earlier in life, occurs more often, and seems out of character.

    Dementia Symptoms To Watch For

    Ten Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

    Here are some of the warning signs identified by dementia experts and mental health organizations:

    Difficulty with everyday tasks. Everyone makes mistakes, but people with dementia may find it increasingly difficult to do things like keep track of monthly bills or follow a recipe while cooking, the Alzheimers Association says. They also may find it hard to concentrate on tasks, take much longer to do them or have trouble finishing them.

    Repetition. Asking a question over and over or telling the same story about a recent event multiple times are common indicators of mild or moderate Alzheimer’s, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

    Communication problems. Observe if a loved one has trouble joining in conversations or following along with them, stops abruptly in the middle of a thought or struggles to think of words or the name of objects.

    Getting lost. People with dementia may have difficulty with visual and spatial abilities. That can manifest itself in problems like getting lost while driving, according to the Mayo Clinic.

    Personality changes. A loved one who begins acting unusually anxious, confused, fearful or suspicious becomes upset easily or loses interest in activities and seems depressed is cause for concern.

    Troubling behavior. If your family member seems to have increasingly poor judgment when handling money or neglects grooming and cleanliness, pay attention.

    People with mild cognitive impairment are at an increased risk of developing dementia.

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    Not Being Able To Follow Recipes

    Something as minor as whipping up a home-cooked meal can be a struggle for those in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. If someone loses their ability to follow a recipeespecially one they’ve made a thousand timesthat might be an indication of the cognitive changes that commonly occur in the early stages of the disease.

    Dementia Symptoms To Track In Elderly Parents

    No one knows your parents personalities, hobbies, or quirks like you do. So if you notice unusual behavioror experience a persistent feeling that something is offtheres a good chance it is. Aging is a well-known risk factor for Alzheimers disease and other forms of dementia. In fact, the risk of developing Alzheimers disease doubles every five years in people 65 and older.

    Learning to spot key dementia symptoms in aging parents and documenting the early stages of dementia can make a big difference. Your observations could provide helpful insight to doctors, which can lead to a quicker and more accurate diagnosis. Discover eight dementia behaviors to track and how to get a diagnosis and treatment.

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    Becoming Totally Uninterested In Everything

    One of the most common changes those with Alzheimer’s go through is no longer being interested in things they used to loveor no longer being interested in anything, for that matter. A 2001 study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society revealed that, while disinterest is a frequent symptom among those with Alzheimer’s, it’s also one of the most under-recognized signs. Researchers at the University of Exeter conducted a study in 2019, and they found that nearly half of all people with dementia experience apathy.

    Issues With Routine Tasks

    Warning signs of Alzheimerâs disease

    Losing the ability to remember how to do familiar and routine tasks is an early warning sign of Alzheimers. Sure, we all lose our keys from time to time, but if you are struggling to remember the directions to your work or the computer passwords you use daily, then you should seek medical attention.

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    Challenges In Planning Or Solving Problems

    This could mean difficulty concentrating on solving your daily crossword puzzle, keeping track of finances . It may also be more difficult to stay organized or multitask, especially when there are a lot of moving parts.

    “For instance, your mom loves cooking and always has the entire family over for holiday meals,” Bednarczyk says. “But now it seems to be too much for her to handle, she’s getting overwhelmed or frustrated, and she says she doesn’t want to host the holidays anymore.”

    Who Gets Early Onset Ad

    Although AD isnt an expected part of advancing age, youre at increased risk as you get older. More than 32 percent of people over age 85 have AD.

    You may also have an increased risk of developing AD if a parent, sibling, or child has the disease. If more than one family member has AD, your risk increases.

    A showed that African Americans, Native Americans, and Native Alaskans are at higher risk for developing early onset AD compared to white people.

    Prevalence of early onset AD

    Early onset AD affects approximately

    The exact cause of early onset AD hasnt been fully determined. Many researchers believe that this disease develops as the result of multiple factors rather than one specific cause.

    Researchers have discovered rare genes that may directly cause or contribute to AD. These deterministic genes are:

    • amyloid precursor protein on chromosome 21
    • presenilin-1 on chromosome 14
    • presenilin-2 on chromosome 1

    These genes may be carried from one generation to the next within a family. Carrying these genes can result in adults younger than age 65 developing symptoms much earlier than expected.

    Mutations in these genes account for only 5 to 10 percent of all Alzheimers cases but a majority of early onset AD cases.

    Apolipoprotein E is another gene associated with AD. Its more commonly a factor in people who develop AD after age 65.

    Lifestyle changes that help reduce risk include:

    • regular physical activity

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    Forgetting Important Dates And Events

    Forgetting certain thingslike what you ate for dinner last Thursdayis normal. When you start constantly forgetting important dates and events, however, that could be an early sign of Alzheimer’s, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.ae0fcc31ae342fd3a1346ebb1f342fcb

    Pay attention to how often little things slip your mindand if it starts to become a persistent problem, talk to a doctor about the possibility of dementia. And for more health problems that might arise in your golden years, check out these 40 Health Risks That Skyrocket After 40.

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