This Wednesday, September 21, marks the World Day Against Alzheimer’s, the main cause of dementia and strong dependency in the elderly. Although, at the moment, there is no curative treatment to cure this neurodegenerative condition, it is possible to slow down its development. That is why it is essential to quickly detect the first symptoms.
There are several early warning signs of Alzheimer disease which can alert the patient and their family. Among them, memory problems. Not remembering an appointment, a place where you put an object, or a phone number can happen to everyone. But when these oversights are related to recent events, are repeated and affect daily life, it may not be so trivial.
Impaired executive functions
Patients also report difficulty performing tasks that require attention and concentration, such as following a recipe, carrying out administrative procedures, organizing a trip or a meal, underlines the Alzheimer’s Research Foundation. They take much longer than before to do certain things and are more easily distracted.
From the early stages of the disease, which affects about 900,000 people in France, the patient may also have difficulty expressing himself. He tends to search for his words and compensate for this difficulty by using “suitcase words”, such as “thing”, “thing”, or “thing”, but also substituting one word for another, which makes his comments incomprehensible.
Another warning sign: apraxia, a disorder that results in the inability to perform purposeful and acquired movements. People with this condition can no longer perform certain actions that require some coordination and dexterity, such as writing, doing household chores, or using appliances.
emotional and affective disorders
Mood swings can also occur. The subject may be particularly impatient, irritable, anxious, gets angry or insults for no apparent reason. On the contrary, he may suddenly seem excessively jovial, laughing and with a childlike sense of humor.
Indifference (you no longer care about the lives of your loved ones, for example), and loss of motivation (you sit for hours doing nothing), are also signs that should not be overlooked.