Have you been unusually forgetful lately? Are your elderly parents behaving strangely? If you are worried that you or your parents might be suffering from Alzheimer's disease, consult your doctor.
What are the signs of Alzheimer’s disease?
The classic sign of early Alzheimer’s disease is a gradual loss of short-term memory. However, the Alzheimer’s Association of America advises also looking out for other signs such as:
- Problems finding or speaking the right word.
- Inability to recognise objects.
- Forgetting how to use simple, ordinary objects such as a pencil.
- Forgetting to turn off the stove, to close windows or to lock doors.
Do you have problems with any of these activities?
1. Learning and remembering new information
- Do you repeat yourself?
- Forget conversations or appointments?
- Forget where you put things?
2. Handling complex tasks
- Do you have trouble performing tasks that require many steps such as balancing a checkbook or cooking a meal?
3. Reasoning ability
- Do you have trouble solving everyday problems at work or at home, such as taking action if the bathroom is flooded?
4. Spatial ability and orientation
- Do you have trouble driving or finding your way around familiar places?
- Do you have trouble finding the words to express what you want to say?
- Do you have trouble paying attention?
- Are you more irritable or less trusting than usual?
Mood and personality changes also may occur. Agitation, problems with memory and poor judgement may cause unusual behaviour. Symptoms will vary from person to person and may appear gradually, progressing slowly in some people and more rapidly in others. In other forms of dementia, symptoms may appear suddenly or may come and go.
Remember, everyone has occasional memory lapses. Just because you can’t recall where you put the car keys doesn’t mean you have Alzheimer’s disease. When such lapses become frequent or dangerous, however, you should tell your doctor about them immediately.