Alzheimer's disease is a form of dementia, characterized by memory loss and a decline in cognitive ability. While memory loss may have a number of causes, the following ten warning signs describe many Alzheimer's patients:
Memory loss includes frequently forgetting recently learned information such as appointments, names or telephone numbers. (Amnesia)
Difficulty performing familiar tasks such as preparing meals, using household appliances, taking medications properly or participating in a lifelong hobby. (Amnesia and Agnosia)
Problems with language include forgetting simple words or substituting unusual words, difficulty finishing thoughts or grasping for words. (Aphasia)
Disorientation to time and place such as becoming lost on a familiar street or in a familiar neighborhood, forgetting where you are going or how you got there or forgetting how to return home. (Amnesia and Agnosia)
Poor or decreased judgment including dressing inappropriately for the weather, giving away large amounts of money to strangers, telemarketers or the church, paying for unneeded repairs or products or forgetting to pay for services like electricity or mortgages. (Amnesia and Agnosia)
Problems with abstract thinking such as difficulty balancing a checkbook or working with numbers or planning a meal. (Amnesia and Agnosia)
Misplacing things by placing the items in unusual places (purse in the freezer, etc.) and/or losing things frequently (not a lifelong habit). (Amnesia and Agnosia)
Changes in mood include a person exhibiting rapid mood swings from being calm to tears to anger for no apparent reason.
Changes in personality such as dramatic changes including stubbornness, frustration, agitation, increased confusion, anxiety, paranoia, suspiciousness, fearfulness, delusional thinking or dramatically increased dependence on family members or friends or strangers.
Loss of initiative and increased depressive indicators including becoming more passive, increased sleeping, watching television for hours without grasping the content, or a loss of interest in usual activities.