Early Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

There are ten common early symptoms of Alzheimer’s.  These symptoms include:

  1. Memory Loss
    Memory loss that disrupts daily life is the most common early symptom of Alzheimer, especially not remembering recently learned information.  Memory loss can also include forgetting important dates and important events.  One of the most frustrating aspects of memory loss is having to rely upon memory aides (such as reminder notes or family members) for things one used to be able to remember by oneself.  A person begins to forget more often and is unable to recall the information later.
  2. Difficulties in Planning and/or Problem-Solving
    Developing and following a plan can be difficult for someone who is starting to show signs of Alzheimer’s. Difficulty concentrating and remembering things that used to be a part of everyday life is one of the first signs of Alzheimer’s.
  3. Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks
    One of the early signs of Alzheimer’s is the inability for an individual to complete daily tasks that used to be routine.  For example, getting lost when driving to a familiar location, not being able to keep a budget, forgetting the rules to an often-played game are all examples of early signs of Alzheimer’s.
  4. Confusion with Time/Place
    It is very common for Alzheimer’s patients to lose track of time, dates, and even seasons.  They can also forget where they are, or how they got there. People with Alzheimer’s disease can become lost in their own neighborhood, forget where they are and how they got there, and not know how to get home.
  5. Trouble with visual/spatial relationships
    An early sign of Alzheimer’s is having difficulty reading, judging distance and distinguishing color and/or contract.  Perception can also be altered. Someone with Alzheimer’s disease may have unusual difficulty performing complex mental tasks, like forgetting what numbers are for and how they should be used.
  6. Difficulty with words
    An early sign of Alzheimer’s is one’s sudden difficulty with following or joining a conversation.  Things such as vocabulary or finding the “right word” is much more difficult than it used to be. People with Alzheimer’s disease often forget simple words or substitute unusual words, making their speech or writing hard to understand.
  7. Misplacing/losing things
    When one begins to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, he/she may not remember where he/she put things and have trouble locating them again.
  8. Changes in judgment
    Alzheimer’s disease can often cause individuals to use poor judgment or decision-making.  This can affect how they treat money (for example, being overly generous), to loosing the ability to groom themselves properly. Those with Alzheimer’s may dress inappropriately, wearing several layers on a warm day or little clothing in the cold.
  9. Social Withdrawal
    An early symptom of Alzheimer’s is removing oneself from activities one used to enjoy – such as hobbies, social functions or work activities.
  10. Changes in Mood/Personality
    Alzheimer’s can cause major changes in an individual’s personality.  A person with Alzheimer’s can become easily depressed, confused, fearful or anxious – especially when they are out of their comfort zone. Someone with Alzheimer’s disease may show rapid mood swings—from calm to tears to anger—for no apparent reason.