Contrary to popular belief, Alzheimer's disease (AD) encompasses more than just memory loss. While memory impairment is a commonly recognized symptom, AD can manifest in various signs and symptoms that go beyond memory-related issues. It is essential to understand that the progression and manifestation of AD can differ from person to person.
Experts have identified ten key signs of AD that individuals should be aware of, both in themselves and others:
Memory changes that disrupt daily life.
Challenges in planning or solving problems.
Difficulty in completing familiar tasks at home and work.
Confusion regarding time and place.
Trouble understanding images and spatial relationships.
New problems with speaking or writing words.
Misplacing things and being unable to retrace steps.
Decreased or poor judgment.
Withdrawal from work or social activities.
Changes in mood and personality.
If two or more of these signs are present, it is important for the individual or their family to seek a medical evaluation. By recognizing these signs, one can take proactive steps towards early diagnosis and intervention.
While memory loss is a characteristic symptom of AD, it is just one piece of the puzzle. AD can also affect cognitive abilities such as problem-solving, language skills, spatial awareness, and judgment. Individuals may experience confusion about time and place, have difficulty expressing themselves, and struggle with daily tasks they were previously familiar with.
Additionally, AD can bring about behavioral changes, leading to withdrawal from social activities and a shift in mood and personality. Misplacing items and being unable to retrace steps can also be indicative of the disease.
It is crucial to dispel the misconception that AD is solely characterized by memory loss. By understanding the broader spectrum of symptoms, individuals, families, and healthcare professionals can recognize the signs of AD earlier, enabling timely medical evaluation and appropriate support and care.'
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Domenico Praticò, MD, is the Scott Richards North Star Charitable Foundation Chair for Alzheimer’s Research, Professor and Director of the Alzheimer’s Center at Temple, and Professor of Pharmacology at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University You can find out more information on Dr. Domenico Pratico's research papers here. Connect with Dr. Domenico Pratico on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.