Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease and it’s mechanisms are still unknown. The disease is more common among the people older than 65 and the prevelance is growing day by day. Therefore the symptoms of Alzheimer’s are getting more attention.
One of the most important subjects is differantiating the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other medical conditions causing Dementia. There may be a lot of reasons causing forgetfulness that are not related with Dementia like lack of vitamins or other diseases. To emphasize this point, it is sensible to explain the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
The behavioral changes of Alzheimer’s patients can be easily recognized by their relatives. Different behaviors instead of the routine, character change, leaving home frequently, aggression can be related with Alzheimer’s.
Forgetfulness is one of the strongest symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Mild stage patients can forget their shopping lists and places of their stuff. Symptoms such as forgetting the way to home and name of their relatives can be seen among the late stage patients. During the progress of disease, short term memory weakens so that long term memory becomes more clear. The person remembers the past events better than the actual events.
Repeating the Same Things
Repeating the same things is a symptom that is caused by degeneration in the recording and saving phases of memory. The impairment of language, shortening the words and repeating the words can be observed easily for Alzheimer’s patients.
Organization, deciding, management, calculation and judgement skills are mostly degenerated among the most of the Alzheimer’s patients. The inconsistency during the decision processes and confusion are also frequent symptoms. The patients can have trouble finding the way, going to the right places. They can also tell stories that are never happened.
Fear of Forgetting Wallet or Stuff
Alzheimer’s patients can have strong fears about losing stuff such as wallets. They mostly control their stuff, try to keep them close. If they lose, they can easily blame others for keeping their stuff.
Feel Like a Stranger at Home
Another frequent symptom of Alzheimer’s patients is feeling like a stranger at home. The patients can claim that they are not at home and can try to go other places thinking to go home. In fact, they can also feel that their children and grandchildren are strangers.
Scepticism & Fear
The patients can feel like other people are designing conspiracy against them. They can also put their children and relatives into this scenario. Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s patients can feel like they are in danger at home and think that strangers can take their home.
Alzheimer’s patients can show symptoms like ignoring hygiene in toilet or bath, eating disorders, forgetting to eat or thinking that they already ate even if they didn’t. Additionally, they can have trouble with skills like wearing a shoe, eating, dressing, using their hands or fingers effectively.
Sadness & Depression
Having a constantly negative mood, being sad and depressive, feeling desperate, trouble with problem solving, not having desire joining to the activities they like before,ignoring their hobbies can be strong signs of Alzheimer’s.
Forgetfulness is Not Always Related with Dementia
It is very common to have forgetfulness in daily life. It would be unfair to think that you have Alzheimer’s when you have forgetfulness. But it is very important to analyse the reasons behind this. The forgetfulness related with Dementia and Alzheimer’s are mostly seen in the ages older than 65.
Factors that cause forgetfulness can be listed as below:
Forgetfulness within people aged between 20-50 can be triggered by stress and working conditions. Depression is the most common cause of forgetfulness. Attention disorder can also seen in this condition. In the long term, stress is believed to have potential to trigger Alzheimer’s.
Alcohol and Drugs
Other reasons of forgetfulness in the early ages can be alcohol and drugs. The overdose can block the healthy mechanisms of neurons.
Poor Nutritioning, Lack of Vitamins
Poor nutritioning and lack of vitamins (especially B12), insufficient functioning of thyroid gland can cause forgetfulness.
Other Pathological Conditions
Medications to prevent epilepsy or psychiatric problems can cause attention disorders and forgetfulness. Liver failure, brain inflammation, head injury, tumors, metabolic disorders can also trigger forgetfulness.
Another important cause of forgetfulness are sleeping disorders. If you don’t have a good quality sleep, you can have attention problems, concentration problems, confusion and stress. Depending on these problems, your brain can’t work effectively and you can have forgetfulness.
Forgetfulness can be a serious condition if it effects your social or business life. That’s why it is very important to understand the underlying reasons and excluding Dementia or Alzheimer’s. Even if it is Alzheimer’s, detecting the disease in the early stage, can help patient for slowing down the progress and increasing the life quality. For risk assessment in the early stages, Cognity app is an innovative and easy way. You can download the application and test yourself or a loved one for Alzheimer’s / Dementia risk remotely.