Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia among older adults. Alzheimer’s disease symptoms generally start slowly and worsen over time, leading to serious memory, thinking, and behavior problems. Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging, although people age 65 and older are at greater risk for developing it. Most people with Alzheimer’s disease are older than age 65, but some younger people have early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Over time these symptoms gradually worsen. Early diagnosis offers an opportunity for treatment so that there may be better outcomes for both people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease as well as their caregivers.
This article lists the top causes and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease:
Forgetfulness is an early symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. Forgetting can range from occasionally forgetting someone’s name to having periods where you forget familiar places and people. A person with Alzheimer’s may experience memory loss for recent events or for a period in their life. Memory is one of our most important cognitive functions, so if we begin to lose it, it can have devastating effects on our lives and those around us.
Thinking and Reasoning
With Alzheimer’s disease, you might not be able to think and reason as well as you used to. One of your first symptoms may be noticing that you are becoming more forgetful about daily activities and appointments. You may also find it harder to multitask or get confused about things like time and place.
Making Judgments and Decisions
It is normal for our judgment and decision-making skills to decline gradually as we age. But people with Alzheimer’s disease may experience these issues more severely and more quickly than others do. The brain’s frontal lobe is responsible for making judgments, interpreting information, regulating behavior, and planning for future events. This part of your brain starts to deteriorate when you have Alzheimer’s disease, causing changes in your judgment and decision-making skills. You may find it harder to prioritize tasks or understand instructions—or be unable to separate important information from unimportant details or background noise (distractions). These problems can make routine daily activities more difficult.
Changes in Personality and Behavior
People with Alzheimer’s often have changes in personality and behavior. These symptoms might include anxiety, depression, irritability, mood swings, or anger. They may also have difficulty expressing their feelings verbally and communicating with others, including family members and friends. They may become argumentative or suspicious of others’ motives. Being able to express how they feel can help them avoid these kinds of problems.
Planning and Performing Familiar Tasks
Some memory and skill loss is normal with aging, but people with Alzheimer’s lose more of these abilities than most older adults. They may forget why they entered a room or what they intended to do there. They may be unable to retrace their steps or navigate around an unknown space. This can become very dangerous in a home environment where falls are common, and hazards may not be obvious.
Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging. If you have noticed symptoms that could be associated with Alzheimer’s disease, it is important to visit your physician. Early diagnosis and treatment are imperative in beating Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. More studies need to be conducted to reach any firm conclusions, but you and your loved ones need to take charge of your health by getting regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and avoiding smoking or alcohol use.