Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Problems with memory and reasoning cannot be ignored

confused senior with grocery list

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how or when Alzheimer’s disease (AD) starts to take hold. Initially, cognitive abnormalities may only be apparent on detailed neuropsychological testing. Eventually, however, problems with memory and reasoning can’t be ignored.

Experts in the Cleveland Clinic’s Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health say the common warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease usually ‘sneak up’ on people and rarely occur all at once. 

Early warning signs

Here are some early warning signs to watch for:

  • Forgetting recent conversations
  • Repeating oneself or asking others to do so
  • Learning new things, such as using a new remote control, becomes more difficult and frustrating
  • Trouble finding words in conversation, like names of people or places

It can be difficult for immediate family members to pick up on these changes, but more distant relatives or friends, who see the person infrequently, often can see them, experts say.

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If these symptoms surface, don’t hesitate to get further assessment. For memory complaints, you may want to seek out a neuropsychiatrist, neurologist, geriatric psychiatrist or geriatrician. See a specialist in a memory disorder center nearby, or get a referral from your primary care physician. Your local Alzheimer’s Association is another good source.

Experts suggest three things to help prevent or delay AD:

1. Follow your heart

Think of everything you know to do to be “heart healthy,” such as not smoking or excessively drinking; keeping your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar under control; eating well; and exercising  at least 30 minutes a day, four days or more a week.

2. Get your mind in gear

Boost your brain often by reading, playing board games, doing crossword puzzles — even video games.

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3. Don’t be a shrinking violet

Schedule social engagements outside the home regularly. People who live more solitary lives are at increased risk of dementia, and those who have memory problems but remain social fare much better.

Thinking of dementia as a chronic illness — for which we can take preventive steps — is something that we can all do right now, experts say.

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  • Tami

    What age would you start looking for these symptoms .

    • Alzheimer potential

      I’m 36 and I have all symptoms!!!!

  • Braindrain?

    Female and age 74, after a CAT scan and MRI for a suspected TIA, the only thing found was small vessel brain disease. Intervals on the treadmill were recommended, among other things. I don’t know whether I should go up to 4.5, tho it isn’t fast enough that I can’t talk, but I have to hold on. Or should I never go fast enough to need to hold on. Faster would get more blood pumping to my brain, but slower would work on my balance, which is relatively poor. (I have to hold on above 3 mph.)

  • Lmyers

    These same symptoms can be caused by low body temperature as a result of hypothyroidism. Make sure your body is functioning at 98.6 before you jump to the wrong conclusion! I find these short articles very misleading.

    • GoodCatholicGirl

      My body temp is always 97.6 or 97.4. Should I ask to be tested for hypothyroidism? Is it expensive?

  • Stacy

    Anemia also can have some of those issues also…inability to find words is the one I experience the most when my anemia is not under control.

  • GeorgeBMac

    As has become common, this article confuses Alzheimer’s disease with cognitive decline due to vascular/circulatory issues. They are NOT the same.
    Alzheimer’s has a specific physiologic condition comprised of plaques and tangles and it has a specific and irreversible progression.

    The same is not true of cognitive decline due to vascular problems. Those issues are due to either a one-time stroke or an ongoing series of mini strokes — or sometimes the decline is simply due to starving the brain due to clogged arteries blocking the blood flow.
    Vascular problems can be halted or reversed with proper treatment.
    Alzheimer’s cannot. If you get Alzheimer’s you will become a vegetable. Period. There is no treatment for it and no halting it.
    But, the health care system increasing insists on mixing and merging the two diseases and causing unnecessary confusion and suffering. But, that keeps the Alzheimer’s Association happy because they can continue to report that “Alzheimer’s is the largest cause of dementia”. It isn’t — unless you add in the vascular dementias…

  • Lee

    Uh, hate to act like the special ed teacher I am, but did you notice that you numbered your “three things,” like this: 1, 2, 1? If I don’t sleep well, I just can’t carry on a decent conversation.

  • Joris

    Why don’t you tell people how to avoid toxic fluoride? They put it in our municipal water supplies and in toothpastes, telling us it prevents tooth decay, yet it causes fluoridosis, and calcifies the pineal gland in our brains. Why has our own country been doing this to us, when most countries pay to have fluoride safely disposed of? And now with chemtrails, dropping metric tonnage of heavy metals over our land and waterways, and GMO’s in feeds, and Mercury in dental fillings, it begins to look like depopulation. Because that’s exactly what it is. They’re killing us. You want to avoid alzheimers? Don’t use tap water. Go to a homeopathic dentist and have all your amalgam fillings removed/replaced with ceramic. That’s a good start.

  • Lunqist

    Yeah but don’t forget the three BENEFITS of Alzheimer’s…. Always meeting new people…. Always hearing a joke for the first time…. And you can hide your own Easter eggs!!