Alzheimer’s: Early Warning Signs

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The earlier you spot Alzheimer’s, the better. Alzheimer’s may appear at first to just be a decline in cognitive function that often comes with aging; but it’s not. It’s a very real disease that requires medical attention.

Alzheimer's: Early Warning SignsIf you spot one or more of these warning signs, that doesn’t mean you have Alzheimer’s. But you should see a doctor to get a real diagnosis.


Here are the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s.

Forgetting How to Do Simple Tasks
This includes tasks like how to start up a computer, how to cook a meal, how to fold a shirt. If you find that tasks which didn’t require any thinking in the past suddenly elude you, you might be seeing the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s.

Repeating Phrases and Questions
Another warning sign is the repeating of questions and/or phrases during conversation.

Someone with Alzheimer’s often won’t remember what they have asked or said already and may ask or say the same thing(s) again, even if they just said it sixty seconds ago.

Unable to Place Names to Faces
“Who are you again?”

Though forgetting real people is usually a later development in Alzheimer’s, it’s not uncommon for people to be unable to remember names, even of people they know well.

Loss of Decision-Making Ability
A person with Alzheimer’s may lose the initiative to call their own shots.

Someone who in the past often decided what to have for dinner, for instance, might start asking others what they want instead.

Alzheimer's: Early Warning SignsPutting Things in Strange Places
For example, a laptop might be stored under the couch, or the TV remote might be stored in the cupboard with the cooking pots.

Alzheimer’s can impair memory of even so-called “common sense” things as where objects naturally belong.

Mood Fluctuations
Someone with Alzheimer’s may be laughing joyfully one moment, then bursting into tears of grief the next with no apparent explanation.

These mood swings can take place all throughout the course of a minute, or throughout the day. Different cases of Alzheimer’s have different tendencies.

Sudden Disorientation
A person with Alzheimer’s may suddenly lose track of where they are, who they are or what they’re doing there.

For example, if you took someone with Alzheimer’s to a movie theater, they might be very excited about the movie as you’re walking there, then suddenly have no idea where they are or what they’re doing at a theater when you get there.

These are a few of the most common early warning signs of Alzheimer’s. Keep in mind that a number of other things, from improper prescription combinations to more serious diseases, can cause these symptoms. The only way to really diagnose Alzheimer’s is to see a doctor.

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