If you or any of your loved ones have memory lapses, or "senior moments," it could be an early sign of Alzheimer's disease (AD). AD is type of irreversible brain illness which causes dementia. People with AD have memory loss, loss of the ability to solve problems, personality changes and behavioral problems which can become severe enough as the disease progresses to interfere with normal activities and relationships. If you are concerned about your memory lapses or increased forgetfulness consult a doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment can improve prognosis.
Some common signs and symptoms which can indicate or help detect Alzheimer’s disease at an early stage are:
- Frequent loss of recent memory in particularly recent conversations, appointments or events (the person may not even remember them later).
- Difficulty in concentrating, shortened attention span.
- Often misplacing personal belongings and keeping things in illogical locations.
- Difficulty in doing everyday activities that need sequential steps, like operating the washing making or grinder or cooking a meal.
- Change in behavior and mood such as depression and apathy, irritability, aggression, and may have mood swings.
- Difficulty in expressing and understanding language (even simple language or common terms in daily conversation) or Repeating a statement or question again and again.
These are some signs and symptoms of early Alzheimer’s disease. If you suspect you or any of your loved one has symptoms suggestive of AD consult a doctor. Your doctor will take a detailed historyand do a physical exam. During examination your doctor will try to find out if a problem such as hearing or vision problem is causing the symptoms. A functional status examination and a mental health assessment may also be done. These tests check a person’s ability to perform simple and sequential tasks and orientation of time (day, month etc.) and space (place where you are). There are no tests which can help to screen for Alzheimer's disease or detect AD in early stages. Alzheimer's disease cannot be cured but treatment can help to alleviate many of the symptoms and may delay progression of the disease.