Alzheimer's Disease - Warning Signs

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Ten warning signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease

The following list of warning signs include common symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Individuals who exhibit several of these symptoms should see a physician for a complete evaluation.

  1. Memory loss (forgetting important dates or events)
  2. Difficulty performing familiar tasks (problems remembering the rules to a favorite game or driving to a familiar place)
  3. Problems talking with others or writing (For example, a person may struggle to find the right words for items or names of people or places.)
  4. Disorientation to time and place (for example, forgetting where they are, loosing track of the seasons, dates, and passage of time)
  5. Poor or decreased judgment (for example, poor hygiene or poor judgment when dealing with money or financial matters)
  6. Vision problems (problems reading or judging distances)
  7. Problems with solving problems or planning (for example, problems tracking regular bills or following familiar recipes)
  8. Misplacing things (for example, a person put items in unusual places and then are not able to retrace their steps find them again)
  9. Changes in mood, personality, or behavior
  10. Loss of initiative or withdrawal from social or work activities

It is normal for certain kinds of memory, such as the ability to remember lists of words, to decline with normal aging. In fact, normal individuals 50 years of age will recall only about 60% as many items on some kinds of memory tests as individuals 20 years of age. Furthermore, everyone forgets, and every 20 year old is well aware of multiple times he or she couldn't think of an answer on a test that he or she once knew. Almost no 20 year old worries when he/she forgets something, that he/she has the 'early stages of Alzheimer's disease,' whereas an individual 50 or 60 years of age with a few memory lapses may worry that they have the 'early stages of Alzheimer's disease.

Return to Alzheimer's Disease

See what others are saying

Comment from: K, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 03

I have short term memory loss, a warning sign of Alzheimer's.

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Comment from: housemouse, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: September 04

First symptoms of Alzheimer's observed in my wife (when she was 62) were extremely minor. She began placing items that had a 'home' in the household in a newly developed location and she did not acknowledge that there had been any change. Example: 'Scissors in the scissor drawer.' After 25 years in their 'historic' location, she started a new location, (a bottom drawer nearby). Frank diagnosis of dementia didn't occur for another 5 years. She also has late stage Lyme disease, which, similar to Alzheimer's, causes dementia.

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