What Are the Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease?
12 May 2004
Medical News Today

Alzheimer's disease begins slowly. At first, the only symptom may be mild forgetfulness. People with Alzheimer's may have trouble remembering recent events, activities, or the names of familiar people or things. Simple math problems may become hard to solve. Such difficulties may be a bother, but usually they are not serious enough to cause alarm.

However, as the disease goes on, symptoms are more easily noticed and affect a person's ability to do everyday tasks, eventually becoming serious enough to cause people with Alzheimer's disease or their family members to seek medical help.

For example, people with the disease get to the point where they forget how to do simple tasks, like brushing their teeth or combing their hair. They can no longer think clearly. They have problems speaking, understanding, reading, or writing.

Later on, some people with Alzheimer's disease may become anxious or aggressive, or wander away from home. Eventually, patients need total care.

The seven warning signs of Alzheimer's disease are:

1. Asking the same question over and over again.

2. Repeating the same story, word for word, again and again.

3. Forgetting how to cook, or how to make repairs, or how to play cards - activities that were previously done with ease and regularity.

4. Losing the ability to pay bills or balance the checkbook.

5. Getting lost in familiar surroundings, or misplacing household objects.

6. Neglecting to bathe, or wearing the same clothes over and over again, while insisting that they have taken a bath or that their clothes are still clean.

7. Relying on someone else, such as a spouse, to make decisions or answer questions they previously would have handled themselves.

Source: Alzheimer's Disease Education & Referral Center, a service of NIH's National Institute on Aging

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