Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that gradually destroys a person’s memory and ability to think clearly. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia, affecting more than 5 million Americans. The early stages of Alzheimer’s disease are difficult to spot and diagnose. In the early stages, the person with Alzheimer’s may seem to have memory problems or language difficulties. Still, there may be no other obvious changes in their behavior or appearance. Often the early stages of the disease mimick the difficulties that arise from the normal aging process.
However, as the disease progresses, more and more changes will become apparent. It is important to know the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease because early diagnosis and treatment can help people with Alzheimer’s to stay healthy and independent for as long as possible.
So, what are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s? Some of the most common symptoms of Alzheimer’s include forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, changes in mood or behavior, and a decline in overall cognitive function. In the later stages of the disease, individuals may also experience problems with movement and coordination and be unable to care for themselves independently. However, very few of these symptoms may be present early on. Let’s take a closer look at the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
As we age, our brains naturally shrink in size. This is why it is common for many people to develop some memory problems as they get older. However, shrinkage in specific areas of the brain can be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease. The hippocampus, an area of the brain important for memory, is often one of the first areas to shrink. Forgetfulness and memory loss that is more than occasional forgetfulness is one of the most common signs of early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Many people with early-stage Alzheimer’s will start to forget things they recently learned or experienced. They may also have trouble recalling the names of people or objects or may have difficulty organizing their thoughts. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, which means that it gets worse over time. As the disease progresses, memory loss will become more profound.
Another early symptom of Alzheimer’s is difficulty concentrating or focusing. Someone with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease may find it harder to pay attention to a movie or a conversation. They might also have difficulty completing tasks at work or at home. Difficulties with concentrating can make it hard to complete everyday tasks. It’s important to see a doctor if you’re noticing that you are a loved one is having trouble concentrating. Difficulty concentrating may be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease. However, there are other causes of difficulty concentrating, so it’s important to get checked out.
Sleep and Rest Changes
In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, many patients may struggle to get the amount of sleep they need, and they may also find their energy levels waning throughout the day. Alzheimer’s disease can cause peple to become excessively sleepy during the daytime, while others may find it difficult to get to sleep at all. They may also experience changes in when they are tired. As the disease progresses, these sleep problems can become more severe.
While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, treatments are available that can help improve symptoms in the early stages. It’s important to seek medical advice if you think you or someone you know may be experiencing symptoms of early-stage Alzheimer’s so that appropriate care can be started as soon as possible. It is also important to note that many symptoms can also be attributed to the normal aging process. Your doctor will need to conduct a series of physical and cognitive tests to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease.