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How to spot early symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease


Alzheimer's Disease, a type of dementia, is a progressive condition that affects millions of people worldwide, yet its early symptoms can often be subtle and easily overlooked. Being able to recognise these signs early on is crucial for seeking appropriate medical care and support. In this blog, we'll delve into the early indicators of Alzheimer's Disease, shedding light on what to look out for and how to take action.

One of the earliest signs that something might be amiss is forgetting recent conversations or events. It's not uncommon to occasionally forget minor details, but if you or a loved one consistently struggles to recall recent discussions or experiences, it could be a red flag for Alzheimer's.

Misplacing items is another common early symptom. Whilst everyone misplaces their keys or phone from time to time, individuals with Alzheimer's may put items in unusual places and struggle to retrace their steps to find them.

Forgetfulness extends beyond objects to names of places and objects. If you notice someone frequently drawing blanks when trying to recall the name of a familiar location or everyday item, it could be an early sign of cognitive decline.

Language difficulties can also surface in the early stages of Alzheimer's, making it challenging to think of the right word in conversation. This can lead to frustration and embarrassment for the individual experiencing it, as well as confusion for those around them.

Repetitive questioning is another hallmark of early-stage Alzheimer's. This behaviour may manifest as asking the same question multiple times within a short span, indicating difficulty retaining new information.

Changes in judgment and decision-making can become apparent as well. Individuals may exhibit poor judgment or find it harder to make decisions, even about simple matters. This can impact various aspects of daily life, from financial decisions to personal hygiene routines.

Becoming less flexible and more hesitant to try new things can signal cognitive changes associated with Alzheimer's too. A once adventurous individual may become increasingly resistant to stepping outside their comfort zone or trying unfamiliar activities.

In addition to cognitive symptoms, mood changes are often observed in the early stages of Alzheimer's. Increasing anxiety, agitation, or periods of confusion may occur, sometimes without an obvious trigger. These mood fluctuations can be distressing for both the individual and their loved ones, further emphasising the importance of early detection and intervention.

Whilst each of these symptoms on its own may not necessarily indicate Alzheimer's Disease, experiencing several of them together could warrant further evaluation by a healthcare professional. Early diagnosis allows for timely intervention, potentially slowing the progression of the disease and improving quality of life.

If you or someone you care about is exhibiting these early signs, it's essential to seek guidance from a healthcare provider. A thorough evaluation, including medical history, cognitive assessments, and possibly imaging tests, can help determine the underlying cause of the symptoms and guide appropriate management strategies.

For further information, you can read more about Alzheimer's Disease symptoms including early, middle and later stage symptoms on the NHS website.