Alzheimer's Disease Symptoms: Is Your Memory Loss a Sign of Alzheimers Disease?
Getting older means changes in all parts of the body, including the brain. You ask your daughter something twice, get disoriented in the local store, misplace keys or forget whether you turned off the computer. How can you tell if these "senior moments" are a sign of Alzheimer's, or just a part of everyday life?
According to the National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer's is a brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. Alzheimer's disease affects each person differently. At the beginning, Alzheimer's can be extremely difficult to differentiate from mild forgetfulness, but further down the line symptoms become more pronounced. Severe Alzheimer's causes memory loss that significantly interferes with a person's daily activities.
At the advanced stage, sufferers have trouble recognizing family and friends, and become increasingly frustrated at their inability to remember and to learn new things. As the brain continues to change, Alzheimer's sufferers may become agitated, aggressive or excessively restless. In its most severe form, Alzheimer's robs the person of the ability to communicate, to eat properly and to use their bladder and bowels.
Mild forgetfulness is not necessarily a sign of the onset of Alzheimer's disease. But if you are worried about your own forgetfulness, or the behaviour of a loved one, you should consult a doctor. The doctor will first rule out other conditions that can cause memory loss, such as: thyroid defects, stress, anxiety, and depression. These conditions can often be treated successfully. If you are in the unfortunate situation of receiving an Alzheimer's diagnosis, catching it early offers the best chance to treat the symptoms.