Forgetting recently learned information is one of the tell-tale signs of Alzheimer’s. Repeatedly asking the same questions, forgetting important dates, or having to increasingly use memory aids are other signs.
A further indication of this dementia-related disease is the inability to stick to, or follow, a plan of action. Concentration can become impaired and you may struggle to do some basic math or accounting.
People with early-stage Alzheimer’s often get disorientated and don’t recognize where they are. They can lose track of time and forget dates or appointments. Having vision problems may also be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease. This can lead to balance problems and the failure to judge distances, so driving may be inadvisable.
Other things to watch out for are if an elderly person accuses you of stealing. This is because Alzheimer’s sufferers often put things in strange places and then can’t find them. Verbal reasoning skills can become impaired leading to social isolation and depression.
Mood and personality changes are also not uncommon signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. This can lead to anxiety, depression, confusion and more frequent emotional outbursts.
There is no single cause of this disease, but age-related changes in the brain can be the biggest risk factor. The loss of neurons and synapses as we age can affect a person’s memory, reasoning skills and ultimately their independence. However, scientists think that genetics, diet, lifestyle and work history could also contribute to Alzheimer’s Disease.
On average more women than men develop signs of Alzheimer’s disease. However, the most likely reason for this is that women live longer than men. There is also debate over whether loss of estrogen after menopause may be a contributory factor.
People who have a healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise tend to be less prone to Alzheimer’s in old age. Not smoking, and having an active social life, can further reduce the risk of signs of Alzheimer’s disease developing.