A A+ A+

Early Intervention Is Key (Here Is How to Spot Alzheimer’s in Those You Love)

As stated by the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.7 million Americans are currently living with this neurodegenerative disease. By 2050, this number is expected to climb to 14 million.

To put these figures into perspective – every 65 seconds, someone develops this disease in the United States. Alzheimer’s kills more people than prostate and breast cancer combined. Due to the number of people impacted, the global population is desperate for a cure. 

Although we do not yet have all the answers, there are ways that you can intervene during the early stages. The sooner you intervene, the better. This will help patients experience a more positive prognosis while improving their quality of life. 

Spot the Signs to Help Ease Symptoms

At this time, no treatment will stop or reverse Alzheimer’s. However, an early diagnosis can improve symptoms, such as memory loss and behavioral changes.

During the early stages, you will likely notice key changes in your loved one. Since the earliest symptoms often include forgetfulness, it is typically friends or family that notice these warning signs. At this point, it is imperative that the individual in question visits their physician.

The stages of Alzheimer’s

In order to determine the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s, you must know what you are looking for. Divided into three main stages, patients live with either mild, moderate, or severe Alzheimer’s. However, it can take years for an individual to progress from mild to severe. Since each individual is unique, one patient may develop Alzheimer’s more rapidly than another.

Know What to Look For

Image via: Pasqual Maragall Foundation

Most often, patients are diagnosed when displaying mild-stage symptoms. This is because those around them notice abnormal changes. For example, if a husband and wife have lived together for 40+ years, one partner will notice warning signs quite easily.

Whether the individual is forgetting common places or is displaying mood changes, there are many early signs. Of these, they tend to center around memory loss.

If you are currently concerned, know that the earliest symptoms tend to include:

  • Not remembering places or even the names of common objects

  • Asking the same questions over and over again

  • Becoming more moody, anxious, and confused

  • Being less flexible in terms of trying new things

  • Poor decision-making skills and an increased lack of judgment

  • Not remembering recent events or conversations

Mild-stage symptoms

At this point, the disease will be apparent. In some cases, a patient may not recognize their own family members. Patients will also generally require support in regards to eating, getting dressed, and washing.

The most common symptoms during this stage include:

  • Getting lost, as disorientation sets in

  • Increased confusion regarding the current time and place

  • The development of repetitive behavior

  • Issues with speech and overall language

  • The development of paranoia, delusions, and even hallucinations

  • Poor sleep and disrupted sleep patterns

  • Issues with spatial recognition

  • Increased symptoms of anxiety and depression

Late-stage symptoms

At this time, a patient will require full-time care.

Late-stage symptoms may include:

  • Struggling to eat and swallow

  • Poor movement

  • Changes in weight

  • A lack of bladder control

  • Severe changes in language (sometimes complete speech loss)

  • Severe memory problems (both short- and long-term)

Why BrainTest®?

BrainTest® was developed in order to help concerned individuals intervene as early as possible. This scientifically validated app screens for Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other cognitive impairments. It is also able to help you spot changes in your cognition over a period of time. Although it will not diagnose these conditions, it will provide a reliable baseline.

By testing various cognitive domains, including memory, orientation, language, reasoning, and executive function, your results can help paint a clearer picture. You will then be able to discuss the results with a physician. Best of all, this test can be taken in the comfort of your own home. 

By utilizing this app early on, you will open up communication. After all, if something does not seem quite right in terms of your loved one’s behavior, the worst thing you can do is ignore it. Although frightening, early detection will allow you to explore the treatment options available today.

For many, that means maintaining a sense of independence for longer. This step can also ensure that a future plan is put into place — especially in terms of social support and care.

Take your first BrainTest® for free today on your tablet device (iPad or Android tablets only). Early detection will help both you and your loved ones take the necessary next steps.

Subscribe & keep up to date on Alzheimer's, Dementia & more!