Over 65 Be On The Look Out For Alzheimer

If you are over 65 years of age you should know that 60% of all dementia worldwide is because of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. The neurodegenerative disease is found in those who are 65 or over and is a progressive disease affecting both cognitive and behavioral aspects of an individual. The cognitive deterioration that those with Alzheimer’s experience leads to a decline in the ability to function at home and work that ends in being totally dependent on someone else for daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, and eating.

If you are 65 or older, do you know the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease? Would you know when to contact your doctor for an evaluation? The most noticeable early symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss, which may be described as forgetfulness.

Plaques and tangles in the brain are the pathologic hallmark of the disease; although these signs of the disease can only be seen on autopsy. They are looked for when a diagnosis is important. Looking for behavioral or cognitive symptoms in life are more humane. They particularly attract attention when the cognitive or behavioral symptoms interfere with the individual’s ability to function at work or when they are unable to do basic daily tasks such as preparing meals because they forget how to work the stove. They may be driving to work and discover they can’t remember what street to turn down even though they have been driving themselves to work for twenty years!

The individual may forget important appointments or names of co-workers. They may forget how to make a phone call or how to perform a task at work. Other symptoms include starting to say something and then not knowing what it were you were going to say or entering a room to get something and then forgetting what it was that you were going to get. Language skills often decline and are often what others notice including not being able to remember what familiar objects is called like a hairbrush or dishtowel.

The individual may not be able to remember what day of the week it is or how to dress for the weather, they may not be able to do complex tasks such as balancing the checkbook or fill out a check at the checkout counter at the neighborhood store. Another thing that may stand out as a symptom of early Alzheimer’s is when the individual puts things in very odd places like putting the toothbrush in the refrigerator after brushing the teeth at night, or being extremely suspicious or confused.

Someone with normal age-related memory issues may forget part of a recent event, they will remember it later as opposed to someone with Alzheimer’s who forgets entire events and never remembers them. Someone with Alzheimer’s will be unable to follow either written or spoken directions and will increasingly not be able to care for himself or herself.

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