In this article we show 10 Alzheimer symptoms and give an overview of this disease, which remains difficult to discover early and to treat.
In Germany, around 800,000 people are affected by a loss of their ability to think, a so-called dementia. The number of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease is constantly increasing in industrialised countries. 10 years ago there were still about 300,000 sick people, today there are already more than twice as many.
The disease can last five, ten or fifteen years. Usually a silent destruction process takes place in the brain decades before, until the disease finally breaks out. Half of all Alzheimer’s patients have too much cholesterol in their brain, which leads to an increased production of amyloid. This amyloid is considered the “pathogen” of Alzheimer’s disease.
The three stages of Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease progresses in three stages.
- People forget names and addresses, often accompanied by general confusion. A general lack of drive is also striking. Patients become anxious and find it increasingly difficult to make decisions.
- In the second stage, massive memory loss occurs. There is nervous restlessness, movement disorders and the sensation of pain is disturbed. Language becomes incomprehensible and the ability to think logically is lost.
- In the final stage of the disease, the patient does not recognize himself, family members or acquaintances. Strong mood swings are the rule, massive speech disorders and incontinence occur. The patient is now a case of care and must be cared for around the clock.
Alzheimer’s: 10 symptoms
- memory loss that disturbs everyday life
One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s disease, especially at an early stage, is the forgetting of newly learned information. Others are forgetting important appointments or events that keep asking for the same information and increasingly have to rely on reminders (e.g. reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to do themselves.
What is a typical age-related change? Sometimes you forget names or dates, but remember them later.
- Challenges in planning or solving problems
Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. You may have problems following a known prescription or tracking monthly bills. They may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer than before.
- difficulties in performing familiar tasks at home, at work or in leisure time
People with Alzheimer’s often have a hard time doing their daily chores. Sometimes it can be difficult to drive to a familiar place, manage a budget at work or remember the rules of a favorite game.
What is a typical age-related change? Occasionally you need help to use the settings in the microwave or to record a TV show.
- Confusion with time or place
People with Alzheimer’s can lose sight of dates, seasons and the passage of time. You may have difficulty understanding something if it does not happen immediately. Sometimes they forget where they are or how they got there.
What is a typical age-related change? Confused about the day of the week, but find out later.
- Problems in understanding visual images and spatial relationships
For some people, vision problems are a sign of Alzheimer’s. You may have difficulty reading, assessing distance, and determining color or contrast, which can cause driving problems.
What is a typical age-related change? changes in vision associated with cataract.
- problems with words in word and font
People with Alzheimer’s may have difficulty following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue, or they may repeat themselves. You may struggle with vocabulary, have problems finding the right word or calling things by the wrong name (e.g. calling a “watch” a “hand watch”).
What is a typical age-related change? Sometimes it is difficult to find the right word.
- relocating things and losing the ability to retrace steps.
A person with Alzheimer’s can take things to unusual places. They can lose things and not be able to repeat their steps to find them again. Sometimes they accuse others of stealing. This can happen more frequently over time.
What is a typical age-related change? Relocating things from time to time and retracing steps to find them.
- diminished or poor judgment
People with Alzheimer’s can experience changes in judgment or decision making. For example, they can use poor judgment when dealing with money and give large amounts to telemarketers. You can take less care of the care or keeping it clean.
What is a typical age-related change? Make a bad decision from time to time.
- Resign from work or social activities
A person with Alzheimer’s can begin to move away from hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports. You may have trouble keeping up with a favorite sports team or remember how to perform a favorite hobby. They can also avoid being social because of the changes they have experienced.
What is a typical age-related change? Sometimes tired of work, family and social obligations.
- Changes in mood and personality
The mood and personality of people with Alzheimer’s can change. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, anxious or frightened. They can easily get angry at home, at work, with friends or in places outside their comfort zone.
What is a typical age-related change? To develop very specific ways to do things and get irritated when a routine is disturbed.