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Alzheimer Signs & Symptoms

The best known sign of Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss. However, it is important to remember that memory loss can happen for a number of reasons and does not necessarily signal dementia. Memory loss that clearly affects your daily life could, however, be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease. Difficulty with planning. decision making, and executing tasks that have not been challenging in the past are other prevalent symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Those with Alzheimer’s disease suffer other cognitive deficits, including confusion, particularly with respect to time and location. They also have trouble assessing spatial relationships and can struggle interpreting visual images. Both speaking and writing are challenging for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

The impact of Alzheimer’s disease on social life is generally less well recognized than the impact on cognitive abilities. However, because Alzheimer’s disease impairs judgment, it can adversely impact behavior and relationships. Further, mood and personality are both affected by the disease. Anxiety, depression, and paranoia often arise with the disease, and those with Alzheimer’s can be impatient and more easily agitated than they were before the disease developed. Those suffering from the disease often withdraw from social interactions and lose motivation related to work and relationships.

External signs that someone suffers from Alzheimer’s disease are manifestations of the symptoms outlined above. While some of these symptoms are noticeable on their own, they also lead to other signs, such as money trouble and broken relationships, which often stem from the changes in judgment and personality that accompany the disease.


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Cummings, J. L., Isaacson, R. S., Schmitt, F. A., & Velting, D. M. (2015). A practical algorithm for managing Alzheimer’s disease: what, when, and why? Ann Clin Transl Neurol, 2(3), 307-323. doi: 10.1002/acn3.166

Kloeters, S., Bertoux, M., O’Callaghan, C., Hodges, J. R., & Hornberger, M. (2013). Money for nothing – Atrophy correlates of gambling decision making in behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Neuroimage Clin, 2, 263-272. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2013.01.011

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