Alzheimer's disease and other dementias affects more than 36 million people in the world today, but as much as 75 percent of those cases may be undiagnosed. These numbers can be frightening indeed, especially for people who may suspect they are showing some of the early warning signs of the disease. Although Alzheimer's may traditionally be associated with old age, it affects younger people too. Up to five percent of all Americans suffering from Alzheimer's are under age 65, with many in their 40s or 50s. No matter what age you are, you may find it helpful to watch for the following early warning signs of Alzheimer's.
Most people have the occasional memory slip. For example, it's pretty common for a person of any age to temporarily forget where they put their keys or cell phone. These little slips may not be indicative of Alzheimer's, but other types of memory loss can be. These include:
- Consistently forgetting newly learned information
- Consistently forgetting the dates of appointments or occasions
- Increased dependence on mnemonic devices or other types of memory prompting
If a person is suffering from Alzheimer's, they may start making inappropriate judgements. For example, choosing to wear shorts when the temperature is freezing. Although the decision might make sense at the time, it shows a lack of reasoning and long term thought that may be indicative of Alzheimer's.
Major Mood Swings
Major changes in mood can be an indicator of Alzheimer's disease, especially if there is no discernible cause for the mood swings. A person who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease may go from joy to misery in just moments, and they may not even know exactly why they are behaving that way. These mood swings can include unprovoked anger and could even include lashing out against others verbally or physically.
People who are beginning to experience the changes that come with Alzheimer's may start to isolate themselves socially. When the symptoms of Alzheimer's discussed above start to show themselves in a person's life, it can be a natural reaction to try to hide these changes from others.
This may involve distancing from friends and family and focusing on solitary activities instead of those involving groups. While it can be normal to need a break from social interactions from time to time, an Alzheimer's sufferer may take this isolation to extremes. They may not be aware that they are deliberately removing themselves from others, and may even deny that they are doing so.
If you can relate to the early warning signs listed above, it is important to see your doctor or a place like Alta Ridge Communities as soon as possible. The earlier that Alzheimer's is diagnosed, the better chance that a patient has to get the maximum amount of beneficial treatments!Share