It may surprise some that Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are not the same thing. Alzheimer’s disease is just that, a disease, while dementia is a group of symptoms that include a loss of memory, problem thinking, and a loss of reasoning skills. Sometimes people see their loved ones are struggling with problems with their memory and thinking. These issues may be age related issues, but they merit more close scrutiny to determine if they are really Alzheimer’s disease and need aggressive treatment. If these issues with memory and mood interfere with daily life then they are not normal issues associated with aging and a trip to the doctor is necessary.
One of the benefits of addressing early signs of Alzheimer’s is a hope that a patient’s decline in cognitive ability will stop once medications are begun. Caregiving for people in the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s is also easier, which mean’s people can probably spend more time at home, rather than needing to move into an assisted living home, at least as soon. One hope is that by treating Alzheimer’s earlier in the cycle of the disease, it will be easier to find a cure for the disease rather than waiting until the disease is rampant in a patient’s brain before meds are used.
- Some of the more common symptoms of early Alzheimer’s disease include memory loss in which older memories might not be affected, but new memories are affected, in that, they may be forgotten as though they never occurred.
- People with Alzheimer’s may repeat questions innumerable times as though they had never been asked and answered previously.
- An Alzheimer’s sufferer may forget basic words, and they may lose the ability to speak and use words that are easy to follow.
- Sudden mood swings are another common symptom of Alzheimer’s. These patients may become upset or angry for no real understandable reason.
- Disorientation and confusion become more common. A person suffering from Alzheimer’s may get lost on their way home from a destination they traveled a thousand times before. This can be scary for the Alzheimer’s patient and for loved ones.
The more common these symptoms appear, the more concern loved ones should have. Early diagnosis and early treatment may help keep Alzheimer’s from getting worse and creating a sad and completely dependent life.