What is Alzheimer?
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behaviour. Eventually, the symptoms become severe enough to interfere with daily activities. Alzheimer’s disease is not a regular aspect of growing older. The most well-known risk factor is getting older, and the majority of Alzheimer’s patients are 65 and older. Alzheimer’s disease is referred to as younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease when it affects people under 65. Younger people with Alzheimer’s disease can be in the early, medium, or late stages. Alzheimer’s disease deteriorates with time.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease that causes dementia symptoms to worsen over time. In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, memory loss is limited, but persons with late-stage Alzheimer’s lose their ability to speak and respond to their surroundings.
Early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease
- Memory loss: Memory loss is a common early indication of dementia. Short-term memory is often involved in the changes, which are often subtle. An older person may recall events from many years ago, but not what they ate for breakfast. Other indicators of short-term memory loss include forgetting where they put something, having difficulty remembering why they went somewhere or forgetting what they were supposed to do on any given day.
- Being repetitive: Because of memory loss and other behavioural abnormalities, repetition is prevalent in dementia. The person may excessively accumulate goods or repeat daily chores such as shaving. They may also ask the same questions again even after getting the answer to that question in a conversation.
- Difficulty in completing tasks: Early dementia might be detected by a minor change in one’s ability to execute routine tasks. This frequently begins with difficulty performing more complex tasks, such as balancing a chequebook or playing games with many rules. They may struggle to master new skills or follow new routines in addition to struggling to execute existing chores.
- Confusion: Dementia patients who are in the early stages of the disease are commonly confused. When a person’s memory, thinking, or judgement fails, they may become confused because they cannot remember faces, find the correct words, or communicate with others regularly. Confusion can arise for a variety of reasons and in a variety of settings. They may, for example, misplace their car keys, forget what is coming up next in the day, or have trouble recalling someone they have met before.
- Problems in speaking or writing: Alzheimer’s patients may have difficulty following or joining a discussion. They also may stop in the middle of a conversation, confused about what to say next, or they may repeat themselves. They could struggle with language, have trouble finding the proper word, or misrepresent things.
- Decreased participation in social activities: A person with Alzheimer’s disease may find it challenging to maintain a conversation. They may retreat from social activities as a result of this. They may, for example, refuse to speak to people, even when others try to have a conversation with them. Many people will also abandon their hobbies.
- Misplacing things: Alzheimer’s patients are prone to putting objects in strange places. They also misplace items very often and be unable to locate them by retracing their steps. They may accuse others of stealing at times. This could become increasingly common over time.
- Poor judgment: Alzheimer’s patients may have problems in their judgement or decision-making abilities. For example, people may make poor financial decisions, such as handing over significant money to telemarketers. They also start paying less attention to grooming and personal hygiene.
- Apathy: Apathy, often known as listlessness, is a common symptom of early dementia. Symptoms may cause a person to lose interest in hobbies or activities. They may no longer desire to go out or do anything enjoyable. They may appear emotionally flat and lose interest in spending time with friends and family.
- Mood changes: Dementia is also linked to changes in mood. It is not always easy to determine if you have dementia in yourself, but you can notice a difference in someone else. Depression, for example, is a common symptom of early dementia. You may notice a change in personality in addition to mood changes. A shift from shyness to extroversion is a standard personality change associated with dementia. This is because the illness frequently impairs judgement.
Why Early Diagnosis is Important in the case of Alzheimer’s Disease
When it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, time is crucial. The earlier you treat it, the better the outcome. Early-stage treatments, for example, are more likely to be beneficial. Furthermore, an early diagnosis would enable the individual to make medical decisions on his or her own. In addition, individuals will be able to communicate their wishes to family and friends.