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Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Other Dementia

Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. Unfortunately, the condition can be difficult to detect because its symptoms are similar to those of normal aging. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are 10 warning signs and symptoms.

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life. This may include forgetting important dates or asking the same questions repeatedly.
  2. Challenges in planning or solving problems. People with Alzheimer’s or other dementia may have trouble following a recipe or paying bills.
  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks. Examples include having trouble driving to a familiar location or remembering how to use the microwave.
  4. Confusion with time or place. People with Alzheimer’s may lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time.
  5. Vision changes. You may notice the individual no longer wants to read and has problems judging distance.
  6. Trouble speaking. Your loved one may withdraw from conversation, stop in the middle of a sentence or have trouble identifying common objects.
  7. Misplacing items. As Alzheimer’s develops, individuals may put items in unusual places or have trouble retracing their steps.
  8. Decreased judgment. An example might be paying less attention to grooming or personal cleanliness.
  9. Withdrawal from activities. Your loved one may withdraw from hobbies or social activities they previously enjoyed.
  10. Changes in mood and personality. Someone with Alzheimer’s can become unusually confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious.

If you suspect a loved one has Alzheimer’s or other dementia, talk to a primary care provider. Early diagnosis is key to finding support and building a care team that can help. Click for a list of our healthcare providers.