The Warning Signs of Alzheimer's Disease
The Alzheimer’s Association has identified ten warning signs of Alzheimer’s Disease. The presence of one or more of them does not necessarily mean that a person has Alzheimer’s Disease, but they do indicate a need for a professional evaluation to determine if Alzheimer’s Disease is present.
Memory loss that disrupts the activities of daily life
Memory loss is the most common sign of Alzheimer's, especially if it involves information that was recently acquired. Other signs of memory loss include forgetting important dates, asking for the same information over and over, and an increasing reliance on memory aids.
Problems with planning and problem solving
Changes in the ability to follow a plan, keep track of bills, or follow a recipe may be warning signs of Alzheimer’s Disease. People with Alzheimer’s Disease may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before.
Difficulty completing familiar tasks
People with Alzheimer's may find it difficult to perform daily tasks. They may have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget or remembering rules.
Confusion about time or place
People with Alzheimer's may become disoriented, forgetting where they are or how they got there.
Trouble understanding visual images and spacial relationships
Problems with visual perception, not associated with changes in eyesight, may be a sign of Alzheimer's. People with Alzheimer’s Disease may develop problems reading, judging distances or determining contrast.
New problems with words
People with Alzheimer's may develop problems with words. They may stop in the middle of a conversation or repeat themselves. They may have a hard time finding the right word or call things by the wrong name.
Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
People with Alzheimer's disease may develop a tendency to lose things and have difficulty going back over their steps to find them again. Typically this increases in frequency over time.
Decreased or poor judgment
Problems with judgment or decision-making may be a warning sign. People with Alzheimer’s Disease may use poor judgment when managing their money or pay less attention to grooming and keeping themselves clean.
Withdrawal from work or social activities
Withdrawing from hobbies, work projects, sports and other social activities is a common warning sign of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Changes in mood or personality
Changes in mood and personality, including confusion, suspicion, depression and anxiety may be an indication of Alzheimer’s Disease.
These signs may be associated with a variety of psychological or neurological disorders. Only a qualified professional can diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease after a thorough evaluation.