Early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a disorder that deals with the loss of brain cells that causes problems with memory and makes it difficult to function. Although the majority of people with Alzheimer’s are age 65 and older, the disease is not a normal part of aging. A common misconception is that Alzheimer's discriminates based on age; however, it can and does occur in younger people, and the disease worsens over time. With this in mind, here are three early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease, which can be very helpful in seeking early treatment.

Memory Loss

Memory Loss is a common sign of Alzheimer’s. Our brain changes as we age and we tend to notice that it is harder to remember certain things. However, confusion combined with memory loss is a sign that our brain cells may not be functioning properly. Alzheimer’s often makes it difficult to remember things you’ve learned recently, because it starts to interfere with how we learn things.

It is difficult for someone with Alzheimer’s who has memory problems to realize something is wrong. In fact, it may be easier for a friend or family member to detect this warning sign. Anyone showing examples of these symptoms should consider getting medical attention.

Shifts in Mood or Personality

Mood and personality changes which result in confusion, anxiety and depression may be a sign that you are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Being diagnosed with depression does not necessarily mean that you have Alzheimer’s, but it does increase the possibility of it. It’s better to seek treatment sooner rather than later, because personality changes may lead to violent outbursts at home, work, or outside.

Decreased or Poor Judgement

Alzheimer's disease may affect your ability to make decisions. Poor judgement can lead to a lack of attention towards everyday norms like proper hygiene, it can even lead to accidental theft or accidentally breaking the law.

Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but if it is spotted early, the disease can be treated to help slow down the effects. There is a worldwide search under way to find better ways to treat the disease, and even cure the disease someday.

Visit Alzheimer Society Ontario to learn more.

— Andy Osei