Dementia is the name given to a group of symptoms linked to an ongoing decline in brain function, according to the NHS. There are a number of different types of dementia, but the most common is Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is believed to be caused by an abnormal build-up of proteins in and around the brain. These are the five most common early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease. You should speak to a doctor if you, or someone you know, has developed a combination of these symptoms.
Memory loss that disrupts daily life may be a symptom of Alzheimer’s
Memory loss is one of the most common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
It usually includes forgetting things that you’ve recently been told or seen, including dates or new names.
While it’s not uncommon to forget names or new information as you get older, those without dementia tend to remember them later, it said.
“Memory loss that disrupts daily life may be a symptom of Alzheimer’s or other dementia,” said the organisation.
“One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s disease, especially in the early stage, is forgetting recently learned information.
“Others include forgetting important dates or events, asking for the same information over and over, and increasingly needing to rely on memory aids [reminder notes or electronic devices], or family members for things they used to handle on their own.”
Difficulty completing everyday tasks
Alzheimer’s disease patients often struggle to complete tasks that they’ve been doing for a long time.
They may forget the route to a destination that they’ve been driving to for a number of years.
Some people could suddenly struggle to manage a budget at work, or the rules to their favourite game.
As we get older, it’s not unusual to become confused about the day of the week or the time, but we should figure it out later, it said.
“People with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time,” added the Alzheimer’s Association.
“They may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there.
Alzheimer’s disease patients can develop sudden mood swings without any obvious reason, it said.
They may become confused, fearful, anxious or even suspicious, and they may be easily upset.
Losing everyday objects, including keys or phones, could be an early warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease.
Patients may put these objects in unusual places, and they may struggle to retrace their steps to find them.
As the condition develops, this characteristic sign may become more frequent.
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