Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease in its Early Stages
Alzheimer’s is a widespread form of dementia and one of the most prevalent neurodegenerative diseases. Symptoms can vary from person to person, and the early stages can be subtle. While it mostly affects the elderly population, it can also occur in adults as young as their 40s.
It’s normal for people to experience occasional forgetfulness, disorganization, anxiety, irritability, or confusion, regardless of age. These include forgetting to do something, misplacing items, feeling anxious or having mood swings, zoning out during conversations, or forgetting important details like names or days of the week. Usually, these isolated incidents are not a cause for concern. However, if you or someone you know has Alzheimer’s disease, these symptoms become more frequent and severe over time, affecting daily activities and overall quality of life. Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease is crucial as it can be managed better and treated more effectively.
The following early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease are crucial and should not be ignored.
Observable Memory Loss
As previously mentioned, it’s normal to occasionally forget minor details before recalling them later. However, in the case of early-onset Alzheimer’s, a person may start to forget details more frequently, including information they had recently heard or read.
Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease may also experience distressing challenges such as difficulty in listening to others, recalling recent or upcoming events, recognizing people they frequently see including close family members, and forgetting essential information such as their home address or the whereabouts of their car.
order to remember it, or they may make use of mnemonic devices to remember names or important dates. However, as Alzheimer’s disease progresses, these methods become less effective, and individuals may need assistance in managing their daily lives.
Losing Or Misplacing Things A Lot
It is not uncommon for people to misplace or lose small objects like their wallet, keys, or sunglasses from time to time. However, a person with Alzheimer’s may frequently put these objects in an extremely unusual place and then forget where they put them. For example, they might leave their wallet on the washing machine or their house or car keys in the bathroom sink.
Retracing their steps to find a lost object becomes increasingly difficult for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. They may struggle to recall the details of their immediate surroundings or activities leading up to the loss of the item. This can result in difficulty in finding the misplaced object. Unfortunately, the frustration of frequently misplacing or losing items can lead to suspicion and paranoia, causing the individual to believe that others have stolen from them.
Loss of Interest in Interests and Social Interaction Over Time
Individuals in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease may still be cognizant of their memory problems, which can cause them to feel embarrassed and frustrated. This can lead to feelings of hopelessness and a reluctance to participate in social and work-related activities, and these symptoms tend to worsen as the disease progresses.
Pay attention to significant changes in the overall demeanor, mental well-being, and social activities of your loved one. Examples of these changes may include avoiding social gatherings, appearing sad or emotionally unstable, exhibiting personality changes, seeming disinterested in work, or losing motivation and enthusiasm for activities they once enjoyed.
Persistent Forgetfulness And Communication Challenges
You may occasionally feel drained or worn out and find it difficult to express yourself to other people. You want to express a word or phrase, but you just can’t seem to recall it. Yet ultimately, it finds its way to you. When a person has Alzheimer’s disease, linguistic problems start to occur rather regularly. When they can’t remember the exact word, they’ll start to explain things using different words. Leaving out the term “closet” in favor of “the small broom room,” for instance. When this starts to occur frequently, it may be an indication of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. They may also begin to frequently repeat what they have already said because it is new to them.
A Decline In Excellent Decision-Making
Individuals with Alzheimer’s often experience significant changes in their decision-making and judgment, which can lead them to be at risk of overspending, purchasing unnecessary items, handling dangerous objects, falling prey to scams, and more. If not supervised, children may respond to phishing emails, take things from strangers, or donate money to fraudulent charities.
Impaired judgment due to Alzheimer’s can cause a person to neglect their personal hygiene or skip important daily tasks. They may refuse to bathe, continue driving with a flat tire, or ignore a significant health problem and postpone seeing a doctor.
Dealing with Alzheimer’s disease can be incredibly difficult, especially for the patient’s loved ones. However, there is hope on the horizon for those affected by Alzheimer’s. Recent advancements and promising results from various neuroscience studies and experiments have brought bright rays of hope for finding a solution to this challenging and often heartbreaking condition.
As you wait for further advancements in the search for a solution to Alzheimer’s disease, there are several options available to you and your loved one. Licensed mental health professionals, group therapies, and specialized organizations can offer effective treatments, coping strategies, and support to manage symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease.