Alzheimer’s disease affects over 5 million people in the United States every year, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. It makes everyone we know at risk of developing it, including ourselves.
However, many people believe that it is a disease that affects only people who are 65 years or older, but there is a chance a person would develop it in their 40s or 50s.
Alzheimer’s treatment doesn’t get rid of the disease, but it only reduces its symptoms. This is why it is extremely important to pay attention to the early symptoms because, according to recent studies, treating the Alzheimer’s early increases your chances of not losing their memory completely and not very early.
So whether it is you or someone you know, pay attention to all of the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease in order to prevent it from developing more. Make sure to always talk to your doctor whenever you spot one or multiple symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, even if they don’t seem like an issue.
#1 – Worrying about your memory
The most popular Alzheimer’s symptom is memory issues, and according to many studies presented by an Alzheimer’s Association, anyone concerned about their memory are more likely to have signs of Alzheimer’s plaques in their brains, and will probably develop symptoms of dementia later on.
You may feel like something is not right within your brain, and it is something you have to trust while observing yourself. It is true that it could be only an illusion or resulting from doubt, but it would be a good idea to talk to your doctor.
#2 – Difficulty recollection of recent important events
If you start to forget a big news story from earlier in the week (like a storm or a hurricane) or a key conversation with a family member, then you should be concerned, especially if you can’t even remember that you forgot it.
If you remember that you forgot the oven on, then your brain is still managing a way to access that information. Or for example, if you couldn’t remember the name of an actor, but you did later that day, then you are not experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
#3 – Difficulty managing finances
If you find yourself incapable to keep track of paying pills like you used to, experiencing issues maintaining an adequate balance to cover payments, and having difficulties transferring money to other accounts, then this can be one of the first red flags of Alzheimer’s.
If a family member or a loved one is living alone and begins to have issues paying bills, then you might consider stepping in. You shouldn’t sit around and watch them setting themselves up for fraud.
#4 – Getting lost while driving
It is normal to get lost sometimes while driving, but only if you haven’t been on that road before. But if you get confused or disoriented in a place where you have driven many times, then you should consider seeing a doctor and ask him for Alzheimer’s tests.
When you start getting lost on roads that you have been driving and walking on for years, then your brain is probably having a few issues staying connected to your memories, which can cause you many issues in the long run.
#5 – Skipping social events
If you have been dealing with difficulties keeping up with conversations because you forget what to say or what the topic is about, especially in a group where your friends would be picking up jokes on you to the point you start considering avoiding meeting them, then the Alzheimer’s disease might be creeping up on you.
Many patients who deal with this issue tend to skip any social event where they will be embarrassed to avoid dealing with these situations from the very beginning.
#6 – Losing interest in hobbies
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One of the most unexpected symptoms of Alzheimer’s is losing interest in your favorite hobbies, like a golfer who starts avoiding the golfing club that he has been attending for years.
Alzheimer’s can cause apathy due to the brain changes, and that leads to lack of motivation. In fact, some of the Alzheimer’s symptoms are similar to depression.
In case you have never dealt with depression or intense grief, there is a chance you may feel overwhelmed experiencing them for the first time now with Alzheimer’s.
#7 – Difficulty planning
In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, you might notice a few changes when it comes to your ability to make a plan or multitask.
For instance, if you are the person who always plans family vacations or holiday parties, then with Alzheimer’s, you will stumble upon many difficulties while organizing or keeping up with day-to-day schedules.
If this is the case, then it is time to be concerned and to call for an appointment with your doctor.
#8 – Difficulty sleeping
It is normal to experience difficulty sleeping every now and then, but when it becomes your usual habit to the point you wake up exhausted every morning, then you are dealing with something more than stress.
According to a study published in the journal Neurology, adults who are at risk of developing Alzheimer’s, but still not experiencing any symptoms, may notice changes in their sleep habits.
Those with Alzheimer’s disease in their spinal fluid tend to experience many sleep problems, daytime tiredness, and trouble falling asleep.
Scientists are still unsure if lack of sleep causes the Alzheimer’s or vice versa, but in all cases, you should check with your doctor.
#9 – Anxiety
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Depression is one of Alzheimer’s earliest signs, but scientists still need to do further studies to see if depression is a risk factor or a result of the condition.
Anxiety, however, is the strongest predictor of Alzheimer’s than other symptoms, like a decrease in life satisfaction, depression, or apathy.
So you could experience anxiety day and before bedtime for the simplest reasons, and it could even be a clearer sign if you have never dealt with such issue before.
#10 – Trouble writing or speaking words
When Alzheimer’s begins to develop, you will find trouble finding words on paper and in conversation. In fact, you may even stop in the middle of a conversation only to remember the right words.
There is a chance you would start struggling with vocabulary and repeating yourself over and over again. Once you notice these signs, schedule an appointment with your doctor in order to save your brain from other bad symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
You or a loved one could still be living a normal life reasonably and without any issue even when Alzheimer’s is creeping in, so keep in mind that no sign should be underestimated!