Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, with more than 500,000 Americans diagnosed each year and more than five million currently living with the disease. According to the CDC, the symptoms of Alzheimer’s most often appear after the age of 60 and steadily worsen over time. Impacting memory, thinking, and behavior, this can be a distressing diagnosis to receive, both for the patient and for their family and friends.
Although there is not currently a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, treatments for the symptoms – both drug and non-drug options – are widely available. These treatments can temporarily slow down the progression of dementia symptoms and improve patients’ quality of life. To learn more about the treatment options for Alzheimer’s, read this article from the National Institute of Aging.
Knowing the potential warning signs of this complex disease can help you get a diagnosis during its earlier stages, when many of the available treatment can do the most good. It’s particularly important to recognize the signs if you or someone you love has a family history of Alzheimer’s, but anyone with these early symptoms should bring them to the attention of their doctor.
Early Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease
The first signs are usually minor and can easily go unnoticed early on. During the early stages, the primary symptoms are:
- Increase in aggressive behavior.
- Frequently repeating questions and forgetting things.
- Getting lost.
- Increase in overall anxiety.
- Complications and issues with handling money.
- Requiring a long time to complete a daily task.
- Misplacing items.
- Increase in mood swings.
- Changes in personality.
- Confusion with time or place.
Please note that if you or someone you know demonstrates any of these signs, it does not necessarily mean that you or that person has Alzheimer’s disease. It simply means it’s time to talk to your doctor for further testing. Early detection can make a big difference.
That’s why it’s important, even at a young age, to continue scheduling your regular check-ups with your primary care doctor and to take care of your physician health. In fact, people with dementia who maintain a healthy lifestyle progress more slowly to the later stages, says Harvard Health Publishing.
Do you have any questions for us about Alzheimer’s? Are you due for your annual primary care appointment? Click here to get in contact with our team of healthcare professionals or call us at 770-463-4644. To learn more about Alzheimer’s, visit the Alzheimer’s Association website.