Lesser known early signs of Alzheimer’s you must know
One of the greatest impairments of the human faculties is the loss of cognitive function. Difficulty or inability to recall information, performing regular tasks such as walking, tying shoelaces or buttoning shirts, and gradually higher order tasks such as writing or problem solving, could be signaling the signs of Alzheimer’s disease. The disease mostly affects adults of 65 years of age and above, though the symptoms could appear as early as 40 years. Here’s what you need to know about some of the lesser known Early Signs and Symptoms .
Alzheimer’s disease progressively limits and incapacitates the brain to remember and retain information, and perform functions that are otherwise simple and ordinary or second to human nature. This could be very frustrating for the one affected by this disease. Alzheimer’s is the most common of all cases reported of dementia, a wider term used for degenerative functions and diseases of the brain.
Despite advancements in medical science, prevention and cure, there is still no conclusive study or research on what causes Alzheimer’s and how to cure it. It becomes highly important to be aware of the subtle signs that could be indicative of Alzheimer’s disease. Seek the doctor’s advice if you notice any of the symptoms below in yourself or your loved ones.
Mood swings and behavioral issues
One of the lesser known symptoms or signs of Alzheimer’s are mood swings – or sudden changes in behavior. Signs could include feeling depressed, irritability, overreacting to minor issues, or showing an unusual lack of interest in activities that were otherwise enjoyable. Occasionally, individuals may seem withdrawn from life activities and may remain silent or unresponsive. Patients have been reported to undergo a phenomenal change in personality and behavioral responses especially once they are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia. Such signs should not be dismissed as normal or part of the aging process, it is important to consult with a physician to identify conditions.
The failing sense of smell
Perhaps the most suitable of all indicators and commonly unnoticeable, is the failing olfactory function, or sense of smell. Research is suggesting that patients could show a distinct inability to identify scent, recall the experience, and associate or distinguish between various smells, as an indicator of Alzheimer’s disease. Since the disease is degenerative in impact, the human faculties including the basis sense of smell could be impaired.
Increasing confusion and inability to solve problems
Patients are also reported to experience anxiety and demonstrate an inability to solve simple problems such as following given steps to complete an action, deciphering meaning and implications of words, making connections, and repeating an otherwise ordinary task. This could also include patients getting confused about what day it is, whether they locked the door, or recall what they were doing an hour ago, or on a particular day or vacation. This state of confusion could progress into more advanced stages of Alzheimer’s. Although not conclusive, these are classic symptoms of the onset of the disease.
Sleep disorders and disorientation
Some research is corroborating that patients suffering from sleep disorders could develop Alzheimer’s or some form of dementia in later life. Therefore, a healthy and balanced lifestyle adds great value to general well-being and strength, and the absence of it could lead to cognitive impairments of various kind. Patients may often experience disorientation, e.g. what direction to take, which words to choose to convey a message, and how to respond to different situations.
These disorientations clubbed together with occasional to frequent memory loss, such as, where the car keys were last kept, where the superstore is located and how to reach it, significantly impact the quality of life and contribute to anxiety and depression among patients, and even family members and caregivers.
Lifestyle and preventive measures
While available research suggests that Alzheimer’s is incurable or the effects irreversible, a preventive approach could keep the disease away. There is always hope. A healthy lifestyle has far reaching effects and impact on the quality of life. One must be aware of what productive actions to take for a healthy and balanced lifestyle, and identify the routines and regimens that promote and support overall well-being.
The preventive approach advocates for consistent routines in
• regular exercise
• positive and productive social engagements and interactions
• managing stress and sleep schedules
• eating healthy and avoiding alcohol and substance abuse
Much of what we eat determines our general health and well-being. Taking the right nutrients and supplements adds value to the consistent routines of managing a good and healthy lifestyle. Be wise! Start today!
Diagnosis and planning for the future
While the different symptoms reported are indicative, experiencing any one or all of them may not always conclude one has Alzheimer’s. Be very focused in your approach to understanding the disease and read articles and books, and use mobile apps, to get the right information. However, do not ignore and overlook symptoms if they persist and affect the quality of life. Often patients are unable to identify these changes in themselves and deny symptoms, which are otherwise noticeable to family and close friends. A complete medical assessment is required to diagnose any degenerative disease of the brain.
A positive mindset. A positive outlook towards life.
While a healthy lifestyle and increased opportunities of engaging in cognitive activities could prevent degenerative diseases of the brain, none of the symptoms, if persisting, should be ignored. Be attentive to changes in your loved ones and yourself. Answer these concerns and learn more about the disease. Establish a healthy lifestyle and exercise the brain with mind relaxing exercises, and other various activities like crosswords, solving riddles and puzzles, and, engaging in rich discourse on topics of interest with friends and family, and such like. Seek medical advice to rule out the symptoms as Alzheimer’s. Remember, there is always hope and ways to manage the quality of life by developing coping mechanisms, accepting support and care from family and friends, and accepting the changes to plan for a better future. Keep well!