Alzheimer’s: Top 5 Symptoms

Monday, 08 Nov 2010 04:49 PM

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Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia (a loss of brain function) that gradually gets worse over a period of time, affecting memory, thinking, and behavior of the individual. Patients don't forget everything all at once, but their minds begin to gradually fade. Alzheimer's generally affects people 65 and older; the average life span after diagnosis is six to eight years.

In the final stages of Alzheimer's, the brain has no remembrance of how to perform even the most basic body functions, like swallowing. While changes in memory are normal as you get older, the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are more serious than that. In the case of Alzheimer’s disease, the symptoms get more pronounced and more persistent, disrupt daily life, and progressively truncate the abilities of learning, thinking, and communicating.

Here are the top five symptoms of Alzheimer’s:

1. Memory loss: While it is normal to forget appointments, phone numbers, or where you placed something, those with Alzheimer’s will forget more and more, losing track of recent events, names, and any other piece of new information.

2. Problems finishing familiar things: Alzheimer's makes it hard to plan and finish everyday tasks. People may completely lose the ability to do normal chores like preparing a meal or placing a telephone call.

3. Difficulties with language: People with Alzheimer’s have trouble communicating with others and understanding what others are saying. They often forget simple words and may use unusual words to express themselves. It’s normal to trip on words sometimes, but in the case of Alzheimer’s, it becomes almost impossible to decipher what the individual is saying.

4. Disorientation: People with Alzheimer’s can forget where they are, why they are there, how to get back home, and what time, day, date, or season it is.

5. Poor judgment: One of the symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s is poor decision making. Individuals become prone to making unwise, potentially harmful, social, financial, and personal decisions. They may go out in the cold wearing little clothing or wearing a coat in the summer.



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