Alzheimer’s disease is not something that appears overnight. The signs appear progressively until the disease becomes more pronounced. Even if some of these signs are simply symptoms of treatable illnesses, a combination of several of these signs together could be a warning signal. Here are 10 precursors of Alzheimers that may merit a consultation with your doctor in order to query a diagnosis.
1) Frequent memory losses
We have all forgotten a name or a meeting from time to time, only remembering it afterwards, which could happen to anyone. But someone who suffers from this illness often forgets recent events and never again recalls them.
2) Daily tasks become a challenge
Certainly, we all have little lapses in concentration when we make mistakes in our daily tasks. But someone affected by Alzheimers may forget basic tasks like how to write, how to cook, sew a button or how to peel vegetables, to name but a few.
3) Word finding difficulties
You are sure to know what it’s like to have a word on the tip of your tongue and not be able to think of it. But with Alzheimer’s, people can become incapable of finishing a sentence, or they may use vague or inexact words. Comprehension becomes difficult.
4) Difficulty locating themselves in time and space
Do you often have difficulty remembering the day of the week, or forget where you have been recently? A person at the early stages of Alzheimer’s may think it is a different season or a different year. Even a location can become unrecognisable: the person can’t find their way home, or may have no idea how they got to where they are.
5 ) Errors of judgement
When we are unwell, we sometimes drag our heels when it comes to going to the doctor. Someone with Alzheimer’s tends not to realise the gravity of the situation and tries to normalise it. It is unfortunately common that people with this illness tend to make bad decisions, because they are losing their ability to judge a situation accurately.
6) Difficulty with abstract concepts
Numbers become incomprehensible, and the person affected by the illness doesn’t know what they should do with them. It is not uncommon for people with Alzheimer’s to spend unreasonable amounts of money.
7) Losing their things
This is a little more than simply losing their keys, but is more like finding it impossible to locate something that they have stowed away in the wrong place (most likely in an improbable or illogical place).
8) Changes in mood or behaviour
Everyone’s mood goes up and down, but this is more marked in somebody with Alzheimers, who could be in tears one minute, and raging in fury or even completely joyful the next, with no clear reason why.
9) Changes in personality
Of course, we all evolve and change over time. But this relates to more radical changes. For example, somebody who was always open and confident becomes closed and suspicious. Fear, apathy, and difficult behaviours can emerge.
Everybody loses their lust for life from time to time, when we don’t want to go to work, on nights out or complete our daily tasks. However, generally, our energy and enthusiasm comes back quickly. A person suffering from Alzheimers quickly becomes passive, even if there was no clear reason for this. This passivity can escalate to the extent that even the most important events don’t interest them any more.