Did you know there are ten signs and symptoms that help identify the early stages of Alzheimer's? Let's identify what those signs are so that you may have a better chance of combating Alzheimer's and dementia in its early stages.

1.Memory loss that disrupts daily life
The most common sign, especially in its early stages, is forgetting recently learned information.
Examples include important dates or events that lead to repeatedly asking the same questions. Often, people with early stages of Alzheimer's can recall events later.

2.Challenges in planning or solving problems
Changes occur in a person's ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers.
Examples include difficulty following familiar recipes or keeping track of monthly bills. These challenges often occur with difficulty in concentrating and completing tasks.

3.Difficulty completing familiar tasks
People with Alzheimer's have difficulty completing familiar tasks such as organizing a grocery list or remembering the rules to their favorite game.  

4.Confusion with time or place
Those living with Alzheimer's may potentially lose track of dates, seasons, and time. Loss of date and time results in forgetting where they are or how they got there.

5.Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
Vision problems may occur which can lead to difficulty with balance or trouble reading. The contrast of colors is also early sign of dementia and Alzheimer's.

6.New problems with words in speaking or writing
It may be hard for people in the early stages of Alzheimer's to follow or join in on a conversation.
Such examples include stopping in the middle of a conversation and failing to repeat what was previously spoken.

7.Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
People living with Alzheimer's and dementia may put household items in unusual places while failing to retrace their steps. Failure to retrace steps may lead to accusing relatives or anyone who encounters stealing their things.

8.Decreased or poor judgment
People living with Alzheimer's and dementia may use poor judgment when dealing with money and pay less attention to grooming habits. Physical appearance and decision making are a great way to detect early signs of Alzheimer's.

9.Withdrawal from work or social activities
Changes in the ability to hold a conversation may result in withdrawing from hobbies, social activities, or keeping other engagements.

10.Changes in mood and personality
Individuals living with Alzheimer's and dementia may experience mood and personality changes by becoming confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful, or anxious. They may become irritable with disrupted routines.

Knowing the warning signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s and detecting the disease in its early stages gives you a better chance at combating it.  If you are a caregiver or know one, you can find additional information by visiting our Help and Resources page. Learn more about Alzheimer's and dementia from a South Texas chapter physician by visiting www.alz.org/sanantonio.

Reference: Alzheimer's Association