One of the heartbreaking things that can happen to a family is watching a loved one slowly lose their memory and ability to perform even the simplest tasks. Alzheimer's is a progressive, degenerative disease that attacks the brain and erodes a person's ability to think, remember, and communicate. There is no current cure for Alzheimer's; early detection is critical in managing the disease and slowing its progression.
Families should be aware of several early warning signs of Alzheimer's. Memory loss is often one of the first noticeable changes. This may manifest as difficulty recalling recent events or conversations or repeating oneself frequently. Another common early sign is difficulty performing familiar tasks, such as following a recipe or balancing a chequebook. Language trouble, such as finding the right word or repeating oneself, is also common. Disorientation can also occur, such as getting lost in familiar places or losing track of time. Finally, misplacing things and having difficulty planning or solving problems are also early warning signs of Alzheimer's disease.
While these changes may be subtle initially, they will become more pronounced over time. If you notice any of these changes in a loved one, it is essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Early detection and intervention can make a tremendous difference in managing Alzheimer's disease.