Symptoms

10 Signs of Alzheimer's

Sara Suchy Sep 27th, 2012 (updated Jan 25th, 2014)
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Alzheimer's is a serious degenerative brain disease that affects memory, reasoning and general thinking skills. Here are the signs to look for to identiy this condition.

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Serious memory loss
Serious memory loss

It is one thing not to remember every detail of your life, but it is another if this memory loss is serious enough to affect your daily life. Memory loss is the most common sign of Alzheimer's. In the beginning stages, recently acquired information is forgotten and in middle stages important things like address and telephone number can't be remembered. 

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Trouble with planning and problem solving
Trouble with planning and problem solving

Impaired analytical thinking is another sign of Alzheimer's. It becomes more difficult to formulate and carry out plans or to follow given steps and procedures. Concentration and the ability to keep track of things is also diminished. Tasks take much longer than they did before.

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Familiar tasks become harder
Familiar tasks become harder

When someone starts to have difficulty with tasks they typically do at home, at work or for fun this is an early indication of Alzheimer's. Trouble cooking a familiar recipe, knowing the rules to a favorite game or navigating the usual way home are all examples.  

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Confusion about time and place
Confusion about time and place

If they don't know what the date is or what day of the week it is, and do not remember later, then Alzheimer's might be the cause. Time loses its structure and the passage of seasons and months is not fully grasped. Occasionally, only those things occuring at the moment are understood and someone with Alzheimer's may find themselves someplace without knowing where they are and how they got there.

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Visual and spatial trouble
Visual and spatial trouble

Although vision loss is a common occurence in old-age, it can also be a sign of Alzheimer's. This is especially true when it comes to spatial perception including judging distances, determining color and contrast and general spatial awareness (they may look at a mirror and think their reflection is someone else in the room).

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Trouble with words
Trouble with words

A sign of Alzheimer's can be difficulty following, speaking and reading words. They might not be able to join a conversation very easily, lose track of what they are saying mid-sentence or repeat themselves. They can also have trouble remembering or using the proper terms for things.  

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Losing track of things
Losing track of things

Occasionally misplacing things like your glasses is not necessarily a sign of Alzheimer's. However, frequently doing so and being unable to retrace the steps taken in order to find them can be an indicator of the disease. These "misplacements" may happen more frequently and sometimes others are blamed for stealing the missing object.

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Worsened judgment
Worsened judgment

If the quality of decision-making and judgments declines, it may be due to Alzheimer's. Poor judgment when handling money, trouble making choices and less concern about personal hygiene are examples.  

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Become more solitary
Become more solitary

People with Alzheimer's may start to drop out of social life and lose interest in their favorite sports team or hobbies. Instead, they spend more time alone. This could be because they have difficulties keeping up or remembering things about their team or hobby. Another reason for their solitude can be the overhwelming and scary changes they are going through.  

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Mood and personality changes
Mood and personality changes

Alzheimer's is an intimidating disease that has serious consequences. As a result, someone suffering from this condition can show signs of irritability, confusion, anger and sadness that they didn't show before. They can be easily upset and overhwelmed as they struggle with the symptoms of the disease.