Alzheimer’s is a disease that can change the life of not only its patients but also those around them. It’s commonly believed to be synonymous with dementia but is actually just one of its types.
The disease itself starts out slowly, and then rapidly deteriorates a person from the inside out. It may even prove to be fatal. The first things to go, however, are the cognitive functions and memories of a usually elderly individual. The AD then goes on to affect physical functions and create many more complications. In fact, many patients may pass away from these physical issues rather than Alzheimer’s itself.
As with many illnesses, recognizing AD early on can help one prepare for it. The treatments for improving an AD patient’s care and slow their progression would also work better when applied as soon as possible. The following early symptoms would let you know what to look out for.
1. Short-Term Forgetfulness
While the old memories could stay entrenched for a long time, AD patients could forget current-day events quite easily. It may start off as something simple and understandable, like forgetting to meet a friend or to attend their regular social sessions.
We all expect our elders and ourselves to become more forgetful as time progresses. However, we must keep an eye out for when that memory loss starts affecting the quality of life in general. An elderly person without Alzheimer’s wouldn’t totally forget the appointment but remember it later on. With AD, though, the realization may not even come too easily or at all until they’re reminded by an outside source.
Another symptom of forgetfulness in the short term is when someone starts relying on electronic reminders, notes, or other tools to help them remember certain important dates, appointments, and events. AD patients would also usually start asking repetitive questions right from the early stages.