Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and as many as 26.6 million people all over the world are suffering from it.
Though most commonly seen among people over the age of 65, early onset Alzheimer’s can occur at a much earlier age and it is therefore important to watch out for and recognize the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Memory loss and cognitive decline are the result of Alzheimer’s, which is a degenerative disease that leads to neurological impairment and ultimately death.
There are actually, physical changes in the brain that cause the sufferer to lose their ability to learn, remember, create, reason and even relate to others normally.
Though this is an incurable disease, with some advanced warning, one could take steps to slow down the progression of the disease if not reverse its effects. It is important to differentiate between Alzheimer’s and normal memory loss that occurs with advancing years:
- Whereas older people will often forget where they kept their car keys, Alzheimer’s will cause them to routinely put important things in strange places (keys in the freezer, bread in the wardrobe etc).
- While with age many forget some details of a conversation they had, an Alzheimer’s sufferer will often forget entire conversations.
- They may forget names of common objects, or near family and friends. Whereas an aged person will sometimes struggle to name the friend of a grandchild say, with Alzheimer’s one may forget the name of the grandchild!
- They find that something that has been done routinely previously now gets muddled. For instance, they have been making a certain pasta dish for years, and now find that they are unable to follow the steps of the recipe.
- There is a progressive loss of independence. Things that they have managed on their own for years now seem to cause confusion. Whereas earlier the finances of the house were quickly and easily managed, now one is muddled about whom to write out a check to and when.
- They find themselves losing interest in things that normally they find interesting. Slowly the disease causes the person to withdraw from society and turn inward. A sunny extrovert may become more introverted and reluctant to seek the company of others.
- They may have taken a particular road literally a hundred times but suddenly one day, they find they get lost on the way.