Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behaviour. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time.
If you or someone you know is increasingly experiencing the below symptoms, it's best to get to a doctor.
Forgetting to return a call or record a TV program is generally nothing to worry about, but regular struggles with your short-term memory could be. Forgetting what the specials are when the waiter just recited them or having to look at the clock a second or third time in the space of a few minutes can be signs of a bigger issue.
Alzheimer’s affects the part of the brain in charge of thinking and planning. If counting money or halving the ingredients in a recipe suddenly becomes a struggle, it could be a red flag.
Moderate mood changes are natural, but dramatic mood swings, becoming easily upset or anxious over small things, or feeling fearful for no clear reason could be a warning sign that something may be going on.
Forgetting that you put your purse on the table instead of back in your bag isn’t reason for concern, but if this week you’ve found it in the fridge microwave or dishwasher, it’s time to get checked out.
Confusion and trouble communicating
Mistaking who played the lead in that old movie is something we all struggle with. You only need to be concerned if you’re looking at your husband and calling him your father’s name, if you’re calling a banana an apple, or you struggle to express basic feelings or thoughts, especially if you’re usually quite well-spoken.
While there is as yet no cure for dementia, early symptoms can be managed through a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. Early diagnosis is important for successful treatment and extended quality of life.