Alzheimer’s Disease Signs and Symptoms Information
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a form of dementia which is characterized by difficulties in thinking, memory, reasoning, learning, decision-making and speed in processing information. Researchers estimate that 60 to 80 percent of people with dementia have Alzheimer’s disease and that 66 percent of the people with the disease are women.
It’s often been said that early detection is the best medicine, and when it comes to treating diseases and conditions like Alzheimer’s or dementia, the saying definitely holds true. It is important to pay attention to symptoms, however minor they may seem, as they could be the first signs of disease. In many cases, knowing the early warning signs of dementia can help identify the disease and help lead to better treatment options.
Many symptoms are common to many different types of diseases and conditions, such as unexplained weight loss, fatigue, etc. That’s why it’s so important to talk to your doctor about the symptoms you are experiencing so that a proper diagnosis can be made, and if necessary, you can begin treatment.
If you are experiencing any of the following signs and symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease, consult with your doctor to identify what may be causing your symptoms. Advancements in diagnosing and treating Alheimer’s disease are occurring on a regular basis thanks to ongoing research being conducted at major medical research universities and institutions around the world.
Alzheimer’s symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. Usually, family and friends are the first to notice signs of Alzheimer’s. A common early sign of the disease is the inability to retain information just learned, as Alzheimer’s typically begins in the part of the brain that affects learning. As Alzheimer’s progresses, people may be confused about events, time and place. They may also have difficulty trusting people and have some trouble with walking, talking or swallowing. However, to make a definitive diagnosis, a doctor may do a brain scan, blood and urine tests; test a person’s memory and learning ability; and question family and friends.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, other warning signs of the disease are:
- Trouble making conversation
- Misplacing items and being unable to mentally backtrack to try to find out where they are
- Inability to manage personal finances
- Memory loss
- Inability to manage daily life
- Mood changes
- Alienation from friends and family
- Poor decision-making
- Problems forming words in speech and writing
- Trouble with visual and spatial image
Types of Dementia:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Vascular dementia
- Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB)
- Mixed dementia
- Parkinson’s disease
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
- Normal pressure hydrocephalus
- Huntington’s disease
- Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome
Alzheimer’s Disease Facts:
- 1 in 3 Seniors dies with some form of dementia
- Almost 2/3 of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women
- Only 45% of people with Alzheimer’s disease are informed of their diagnosis
- Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in in U.S.
- Alzheimer’s disease is the only cause of death in the top 10 in America that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed
- By 2025, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease is estimated to reach 7.1 million if a method of prevention or cure is not found
Lewy Body Dementia Signs and Symptoms Information
Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) is the second most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer’s disease, accounting for up to 20 percent of dementia cases worldwide. The Lewy Body Dementia Association estimates that the disease affects some 1.4 million individuals and their families in the United States. This form of dementia shares characteristics with both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, and the term “Lewy Body Dementia” actually refers to both Parkinson’s disease dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies. The earliest symptoms of these two diseases differ, but reflect the same underlying biological changes in the brain. Over time, people with both diagnoses will develop similar cognitive, physical, sleep, and behavioral symptoms.
Lewy Body Dementia Symptoms
Since Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) symptoms resemble other diseases, it can be especially challenging to diagnose correctly. Every person with LBD is different and will manifest different degrees of the following symptoms:
- Mental decline
- Recurrent visual hallucinations or depression
- Changes in thinking and reasoning
- Increasing problems handling the tasks of daily living
- Repeated falls and fainting
- Confusion and alertness that varies significantly from one time of day to another
- Motor problems such as slow movement, poor balance, hunched posture, shuffling walk, stiff limbs, or tremors
- Sleep disturbances, including insomnia and acting out dreams (sometimes violently)
- Malfunctions of the autonomic nervous system
See below for updated news and information regarding Alzheimer’s Disease including new medical research, treatments and advancements.
Alzheimer's & Dementia News
Dementia Research News: Mayo Clinic researchers find mental activities may protect against mild cognitive impairment
Alzheimer’s Research News: Penn Study Confirms That “Sniff Test” May Be Useful in Diagnosing Early Alzheimer’s Disease