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Part of Aging or Signs of Alzheimer’s?

Memory loss will disrupt your daily life and is a symptom of Alzheimer’s or Dementia. People who suffer such memory loss will first see the changes before other people. But, you shouldn’t ring alarm bells yet; we all sometimes forget as our lives become busy, and it doesn’t mean you have Dementia or will eventually get Alzheimer’s. Also, memory loss is part of normal aging; on the other hand, if memory loss seriously affects your ability to carry out your daily tasks, you should seek medical attention.

This article will discuss the differences between normal aging, Dementia, and Alzheimer’s, as well as 10 signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

Normal Aging vs. Dementia

Aging is a natural and inevitable process of our lives. As we age, our brain changes and may result in mild memory and cognitive decline. The changes, however, do not affect your ability to carry out everyday activities.

You may notice changes in your mental abilities from the ages of 40s, 50s, and early 60s. However, you don’t have to worry; these are normal signs of aging, including:

  • Forgetting things once in a while
  • Taking a long time to remember things
  • You get distracted more easily
  • Difficulty in multi-tasking

On the other hand, Dementia is not a specific part of the aging process. A range of disorders leads to a decline in cognitive functioning and behavioral patterns. The cognitive abilities affected include memory, learning, thinking, and reasoning, interfering with your day-to-day activities.

Dementia vs. Alzheimer’s

Dementia is a collective term for several conditions that affect your cognitive ability. The types of Dementia include Alzheimer’s, vascular Dementia, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. A person can experience more than one form of Dementia, called mixed Dementia.

Dementia is a progressive condition. Hence the symptoms develop slowly and gradually worsen. Examples of the signs of Dementia are:

  • Failure to remember things
  • Losing track of your wallet, keys
  • Going places without noticing
  • Difficulty in planning and making meals

Alzheimer’s disorder is the most prevalent form of Dementia and accounts for 60-80% of dementia cases. Indeed, Alzheimer’s disease affects the brain leading to memory loss, cognitive failure, and other behavioral changes. The condition occurs due to plaques and tangles forming in the brain.

Examples of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include;

  • Forgetting things most of the time
  • Difficulty in making decisions
  • Inability to properly dress
  • Detaching from social circles

Signs Of Alzheimer’s Disease

There are 10 signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease that you should watch out for and seek medical attention for. These are;

Changes in mood and personality

People who have Alzheimer’s often experience regular changes in their moods and persona. You may feel more depressed, scared, have anxiety, and become more confused. An Alzheimer’s patient may get angry or upset more easily than before and feel suspicious of people around them.

Trouble planning and problem-solving

Some people may experience changes in their ability to plan and follow a procedure they have used before. It may become difficult to follow a favorite recipe, pay bills and even concentrate on a matter.

Changes in vision

Some people may have challenges with vision not associated with eye problems. It becomes difficult for them to understand images and judge distances, and they will likely miss stairs. You may also find it hard to recognize colors and objects.

Confusion with time and place

While it is normal sometimes to forget dates or what day it is, then remember later. With Alzheimer’s patients, one may completely lose track of dates, seasons, and how time goes. They find it hard to understand events and activities not happening immediately. You might even fail to understand why you are in a certain place and how you got there.

Poor or decreased judgment

Alzheimer’s disorder may cause a decrease in your ability to make the proper decision. For example, you may find it difficult to make the right payment at the shop and forget to keep yourself clean. You fail to know what to do at what time.

Losing the ability to retrace steps and misplacing things

Some people with Alzheimer’s often place things in unusual places and find it hard to retrace them. For instance, you place the car keys in the dryer and cannot trace them back. This behavior starts slowly but gradually worsens; hence you require help with everyday activities.

Struggle to speak or find words

An Alzheimer’s patient may have difficulty joining a conversation. They struggle to find the words to use and often refer to that thing instead of naming it. You may also not concentrate on keeping a conversation going by getting distracted often.

Problem with doing or completing familiar tasks

Some people find it hard to do tasks they have done before. You may find driving to your favorite restaurant difficult or forget how to operate a phone or a remote.

Social and work withdrawal

Alzheimer’s may lead to a person withdrawing from work projects, hobbies, or social events. They may want to be alone since they can’t keep up with the social events, work and even complete some hobbies as they used to.

Memory loss

Severe memory loss is the most common early sign of Alzheimer’s disease. Memory loss disrupts your normal life, and you will start to forget and ask the same information repeatedly. You can forget events date, appointments, who you talked to recently, and even the names of people.

Bottom line

You should seek medical attention as early as possible to have a better chance of making favorable plans.

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/ss/slideshow-is-it-aging-or-alzheimers?ecd=wnl_spr_061322&ctr=wnl-spr-061322_supportBottom_title_1&mb=dIX2bBxMHrdHlKgxe%2FJjvShonS%2FH3cwy1zuyDwYKQWw%3D
https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/memory-forgetfulness-and-aging-whats-normal-and-whats-not
https://alzheimer.ca/en/about-dementia/do-i-have-dementia/differences-between-normal-aging-dementia