There are many types of dementia, with Alzheimer's disease being one of the most common. It is a progressive neurologic disorder that causes the brain to shrink and brain cells to die. In the early stages, Alzheimer's disease may have a number of signs, though they are sometimes difficult to spot.
The symptoms of Alzheimer's disease progress slowly over several years. There are some common symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, but no one's experience will be exactly the same as anyone else's, according to the Alzheimer's Society UK. If you notice any of them, don't ignore them. Schedule an appointment with your doctor right away.
Early signs and symptoms
Memory problems are typically one of the first signs of cognitive impairment related to Alzheimer’s disease. Someone with early Alzheimer's disease may forget about recent conversations or events, misplace items, forget the names of places and objects, have trouble thinking of the right word and ask questions repetitively.
Decline in non-memory aspects of cognition, such as word-finding, vision/spatial issues, and impaired reasoning or judgement, may also signal the very early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. People living with Alzheimer's can lose track of dates and the passage of time. They may also have problems judging distance and determining color or contrast, causing issues with driving.
Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease spotted in daily activities
There are several other signs of Alzheimer's disease which are seen in their daily activity and are often overlooked.
Patients with Alzheimer's disease often tend to repeat questions. They do have difficulty in handling money, paying bills and doing financial transactions.
They keep losing things as they do not remember the place they had kept in.
Due to the disease people who once had good decision making skills, deteriorate in this aspect.
Problems people with Alzheimer's experience
People living with Alzheimer's may have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves. Individuals may experience changes in judgment or decision-making. For example, they may use poor judgment when dealing with money or pay less attention to keeping themselves clean and hygienic.
A person living with Alzheimer's disease may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. Individuals living with Alzheimer’s may experience mood and personality changes. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious.
How to reduce risk
Although getting older is the biggest risk factor for dementia, evidence shows there are things you can do to help reduce your own risk. These include keeping active, eating healthily and exercising your mind. Eating a healthy, balanced diet may reduce your risk of dementia, as well as other conditions including cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, stroke and heart disease.
For a strong mind, it is important to note that no single ingredient, nutrient or food can improve brain health by itself. Instead, eating a range of different foods in the right proportions is what makes a good difference. Another important factor is that if you smoke, you’re putting yourself at a much higher risk of developing dementia later in life.