Alzheimer’s disease is something most of us fear as we age, both in connection with ourselves and family members. Although Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging, the risk of developing the illness increases with age.
We often hear people use ‘Alzheimer’s’ as a generic label for memory difficulties, when it is in fact a specific disease that differs from other forms of dementia associated with aging.
It helps to know the common warning signs that might indicate the presence of Alzheimer’s disease versus basic forgetfulness. These symptoms may gradually increase and become more persistent.
* Typical warning signs include:
Memory loss, especially of recent events, names, placement of objects, and other new information
Confusion about time and place
Struggling to complete familiar actions, such as brushing teeth or getting dressed
Trouble finding the appropriate words, completing sentences, and following directions and conversations
Poor judgment when making decisions
Changes in mood and personality, such as increased suspicion, rapid and persistent mood swings, withdrawal, and disinterest in usual activities
Difficulty with complex mental assignments, such as balancing a checkbook or other tasks involving numbers