Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the brain’s nerve cells, or neurons, resulting in loss of memory, thinking and language skills, and behavioral changes. Although every case of Alzheimer’s disease is different, experts have identified common Alzheimers warning signs. Remember, Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging, and it is important to look for signs that might indicate Alzheimer’s disease versus basic forgetfulness. With Alzheimer’s disease, these symptoms gradually increase and become more persistent.
- 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
Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers are continually testing the effectiveness of various drug therapies that will control symptoms; slow, reduce and/or reverse mental and behavioral symptoms; and prevent or halt the disease. It is imperative that your loved one see their primary care doctor or a neurologist so that if drug therapy is prescribed it can be started as quickly as possible. The drugs are more effective if they are begun in the milder stage of Alzheimers.