Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disorder of unknown etiology, a common form of dementia. It usually starts in the late middle age or old age. However, it is commonly known to affect 65 years and older so-called younger-onset. This generally means that the person diagnosed is in their 40’s or 50’s.
The exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not fully understood, although several things are thought to increase your risk of developing the condition.
- increasing age
- a family history of the condition
- untreated depression
- lifestyle factors and conditions related to cardiovascular disease
It can be challenging to obtain an accurate diagnosis at this age because many symptoms result from specific life events such as stress. As the disease affect the brain, it can cause a memory decline and thinking abilities. The fall is typically slow, but this can vary on a case basis. There is degeneration of brain neurons in the cerebral cortex and the presence of neurofibrillary tangles and plaque containing beta-amyloid cells.
10 Early Signs and Symptoms
1) Memory loss
One of the most common early signs of Alzheimer’s disease, especially in the early stage, is forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events, asking someone the same question repeatedly, and increasingly needing to rely on memory aids.
2) Challenges in planning or problem solving
Some people with dementia may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan. They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. They may have difficulty concentrating and need lots of time to complete the task they did before.
3) Difficulty completing the familiar tasks
Some people may experience a more significant problem with concentration as they require critical thoughts for their day-to-day tasks due to the progression of the disease. Sometimes they may have trouble driving to a familiar location, organizing a grocery list, or remembering the rules and regulations.
4) Vision loss
For some people, vision problems are also an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease. This may lead to difficulty with balance or trouble while studying, which may have problems judging distance and determining color, causing issues while driving.
5) Confusion with time or place
People with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons, and the passage of time which are the common symptoms. Planning for future events can become problematic since they do not occur immediately. As symptoms progress, People with AD can become increasingly forget about where they are, how they got there, and why they’re there.
6) Misplacing items often and losing the items to retrace
A person with AD may put things in unusual places, and they may lose the things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. They may cause others to steal, especially at the condition when the disease progresses.
7) New problem with words in speaking and writing
People living with AD may have difficulty following or joining a conversation. This may stop in the middle of a conversation, and they do not know how to continue, or they may repeat themselves. They may struggle with vocabulary, have trouble naming familiar objects or use the wrong name.
8) Difficulty making a decision
An individual may experience changes in judgment or decision making, whereas financial choices may appear a poor judgment. These symptoms cause a detrimental economic effect. An example of this is donating large amounts of money. Physical hygiene becomes less of a concern to them as well. A person may experience a rapid decline in bathing frequency and be unwilling to change clothes daily.
9) Withdrawal from work or social activities
People living with AD may experience changes in their ability to follow a conversation. As a result, they may withdraw from hobbies, social activities, or other engagements and have trouble keeping up with a favorite team or training. Avoidance can increase if the symptoms get worst.
10) Experiencing mood and personality
Individuals living with Alzheimer’s may experience mood and personality changes as they become confused, suspicious, depressed, or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, with friends, or outside their comfort zone.