Alzheimer’s disease often develops slowly over the course of many years or decades although it can start to have very negative effects early in the process. Some of the changes might seem minor while others can put the health and safety of the individual at risk. You should know some of the most common early warning signs for Alzheimer’s disease.
Disruptive Memory Loss
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A common early warning sign is memory loss that starts to disrupt life each day. This is more than just occasionally forgetting something. It is a clear pattern of forgetting important things. The person might forget the names of loved ones or address of the home. This memory loss will get worse over time if Alzheimer’s is the cause.
Problems Performing Everyday Tasks
Another early warning sign is having problems performing everyday tasks. These are simple things like using a television remote, cooking or getting dressed. Alzheimer’s disease can cause the person to become very confused when confronted with these tasks. The individual might even try irrational, risky or nonsensical things in order to try to accomplish the task.
Difficulty Solving Problems
Someone developing Alzheimer’s disease might start to have difficulty solving problems. The disease can reduce the ability of the individual to think through complex sequences and anticipate future events. This can leave the person unable to solve problems or even follow long conversations that involve abstract concepts.
Issues Remembering the Time or Place
Something that is a clear early warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease is having issues remembering the time or place in the moment. The person might think that it is a different day, month or year. The individual might think a restaurant is home or the bedroom is a workplace. The person might eventually stop recognizing some familiar locations altogether.
Alzheimer’s can start to rob a person of the ability to communicate even in the early stages. This can affect the way a person talks or writes. The individual might start using words in a conversation that make no sense or that seem inserted randomly into a sentence. The person could become unable to write anything coherent or legible. Trouble communicating shows that Alzheimer’s disease is likely present.
Uncharacteristically Poor Judgement
The same changes to the brain that cause other signs will eventually lead to uncharacteristically poor judgement. The individual might make decisions that put personal safety at risk, that dramatically affect finances or that seem to be completely irrational. This is an early warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease if the poor judgement begins to appear consistently and if it is something not usually seen from the person in the past.
Mood or Personality Changes
A final potential early sign of Alzheimer’s disease is a change in personality or mood. A person could start to have rapid mood shifts from depression to happiness. Some personality changes could include increased paranoia, irritability or unexplained fear. Anxiety sometimes develops leading to social withdrawal and isolation. Mood or personality changes that come on without explanation can be an early warning sign of Alzheimer’s.