Signs & Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, it is estimated that 1 in 3 seniors will die due to Alzheimer’s (or another form of dementia). In addition, more than 5 million of Americans are living with this disease. But what exactly is it? Alzheimer’s is defined as “progressive mental deterioration that can occur in middle or old age, due to generalized degeneration of the brain. It is the most common cause of premature senility.”

Cross section of healthy and Azlheimer's brain

As you can see in the image above, the brain tissue deteriorates (or shrinks) in an Alzheimer’s patient’s brain.

Now, what are some signs and symptoms to look for when suspecting Alzheimer’s? Here are some key things to look for:

  • Difficulty performing familiar tasks (i.e., getting dressed)
  • Memory loss that affects day-to-day activities
  • Impaired judgement (i.e., wearing shorts and a t-shirt outside on a winter day)
  • Changes in mood and behaviour (i.e., severe mood swings)
  • Challenges in planning or solving problems (i.e., forgetting monthly bills)

It’s important to note that some changes that can be observed can be age-related and not Alzheimer’s. If you’re unsure, it’s important to go see your doctor with the signs and symptoms for early detection and treatment.

For more information about Alzheimer’s, here are some links:

http://www.alz.org/

http://www.alzheimer.ca/en

https://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/alzheimers-disease-fact-sheet

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Alex Newton is a nursing student and mental health advocate. She grew up in a small town and plans on moving to London, England one day and open up her own health practice. She has a cat named Maya who she adopted whilst going through some difficulties. She’s a daughter, sister, and warrior who enjoys a nice cuppa tea.

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