Alzheimer’s The disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting 6.5 million Americans. “Diagnosing dementia and its many types can be challenging for doctors,” says Glen Stevens, DO, Ph.D.. “It is estimated that 5% of people over the age of 65 suffer from severe dementia and that 10 to 15% are at least mildly impaired. As the size of the elderly population increases, the number of people with dementia will inevitably increase. Accurate diagnosis is the major goal of dementia evaluation.” Here are five warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease according to experts. Read on and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure signs you’ve already had COVID.
Making poor financial decisions or letting bills pile up can be a sign of dementia, especially if that’s not like you. “We were hearing a lot of stories about patients who didn’t even know they had dementia when some of these adverse financial events were happening,” says Lauren Hersch Nicolas from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Then the whole family could find out when they’d lost a home or a business, or suddenly a new scammer had been added to other accounts and was taking their savings.”
Confusion that progresses to the point of interfering with daily life may be a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease, doctors say. An example is constantly going off the rails when trying to talk about something. “So what we typically see as people get older is quickly extracting information, quickly extracting names and words, but it comes back to you later, either you get off topic or you see a clue, that sort of thing”, says neurologist James Leverenz, MD. “One of the common questions I will ask my patients and their families [is], ‘Does memory return if you get a hint?’ And they say, “Yeah, so the name will come to me,” that kind of thing. It tends to get worse as you get a bit older, again going back to that term ‘dementia’, when it gets so bad that we start interfering with your ability to manage your daily functioning, that’s That’s when we start to worry a little more about the dementia component.”
Disorientation is a common sign of Alzheimer’s disease. “The real problem with AD is the perception of time”, says Lisa P. Gwyther, co-author of The Alzheimer’s Action Plan: A Family Guide. “Five minutes may seem like five hours to someone with Alzheimer’s disease, so a husband may think his wife has been gone for hours or even weeks, even if it’s only been a few minutes, or he may tell his grandson that he hasn’t seen him in five years, even though he only saw them yesterday.”
If you find it increasingly difficult to follow speech in a noisy environment, it could be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease. “While most people think of memory problems when we hear the word dementia, that’s far from the whole story,” says Dr Katy Stubbs of Alzheimer’s Research UK. “Many people with dementia will have difficulty following speech in a noisy environment – a symptom sometimes called the ‘cocktail problem’.”
Memory loss, especially when memory cues no longer work, is strongly correlated with Alzheimer’s disease. “In Alzheimer’s disease, the most typical presentation is not just memory loss, but the fact that when we get those cues later on, it still doesn’t come back to us,” he added. Said Dr. Delivery. “It’s as if the event or discussion didn’t happen. We all forget things a few times or maybe need a few clues to retrieve a specific event or kind of information from memory. But we worry about it more when you’ve had a conversation with, say, a parent, and they don’t remember that conversation later and even with clues, it doesn’t come back to them. That’s kind of one things that worry us.
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer passionate about making science and research-based information accessible to the general public. Read more