by Danny Feldman
s we age, we all become more susceptible to certain diseases or conditions and Alzheimer’s certainly is one of these conditions that are more prevalent as we age. Have you ever wondered what to look for, either for yourself or a loved one, regarding the possible onset of Alzheimer’s? The list below outlines ten early warning signs of this disease. Although Alzheimer’s is not curable at present, there are things you can and should do if you, or a loved one, are experiencing a number of these conditions. 10 Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s and What to Do Next:
- Difﬁculty Remembering Things – manifested by forgetting important dates or events, like a loved one’s birthday; asking the same questions over and over;
- Losing Ability to Problem Solve – taking longer to do things; trouble with easy math; unable to track regular monthly bills;
- Losing Track of Dates, Seasons, Time – if not happening right now, then it’s hard to keep track of;
- Misplacing Things – not only misplacing or losing things but placing them in unusual places—like ﬁnding your keys in the refrigerator;
- Mood and Personality Changes – especially noticeable when you are in unfamiliar surroundings Confusion, suspicion and paranoia are the most typical noticeable changes;
- Poor Decision Making – particularly noticeable with poor money decisions;
- Loss of Spontaneity and Initiative – people want to feel safe and secure in a familiar place and thus no longer make spontaneous decisions;
- Wandering or Getting Lost – particularly noticeable when someone gets lost driving from someplace they have been on numerous occasions (church, the grocery store, etc.)
- Difﬁculty Joining Conversations or Finding the Right Word – sometimes manifested by just an abrupt stop in the discussion or by repeated conversations; and
- Vision Loss – problems judging distance or more difﬁculty reading.
If you or a loved one is experiencing a number of these symptoms, getting seen and diagnosed by a doctor is the ﬁrst thing to do. There is often a lengthy period of time from the onset of symptoms until diagnosis (2-4 years). Although there is not presently a cure for Alzheimer’s, there are medications available that can slow memory loss and help with cognition. Two of the better-known drugs for Alzheimer’s patients are Namenda and Aricept. In addition, studies have shown that regular exercise, speciﬁcally aerobic in nature, can signiﬁcantly (30%-50%) reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Finally, studies have shown that a diet heavy on vegetables, particularly leafy greens, can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s.