Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s You May Spot in Yourself or a Loved One

Alzheimer’s is a disease that heavily impacts memory function, typically in older people. Since memory loss commonly comes with aging, it can be hard to detect if a symptom is just one that comes with old age, or a sign of Alzheimer’s disease. The main symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss. 

More than that, it’s memory loss that happens frequently and gets worse over time. Here are some signs and symptoms to look out for, as they often correlate with Alzheimer’s disease. 

  1. What are some early warning signs of Alzheimer’s?
  2. At what age does Alzheimer’s appear?
  3. What are the stages of Alzheimer’s?

1. What are some early warning signs of Alzheimer’s? 

Alzheimer’s looks different for everyone, so there isn’t a “one size fits all” set of symptoms that everyone with the disease is going to have. The severity of each symptom in each individual is going to be different. Also, there are different symptoms that are associated with Alzheimer’s based on how severe the disease is. 

That said, there are some common symptoms that may start to appear in those with Alzheimer’s early on. Most of the early signs are going to have to do with a person’s memory. The most broad but common symptom is memory loss which impacts daily life. For example, this could mean forgetting about appointments, forgetting information just recently given or forgetting a recent conversation. 

Alzheimer’s disease mainly affects those ages 65 and older. (iStock)

Another sign someone with Alzheimer’s might show is having a hard time planning things or solving problems. People with Alzheimer’s typically have difficulty dealing with bills and following a set of instructions.  Losing track of dates and getting confused about where you are, as well as vision problems, are other signs of the disease.

Those who may have Alzheimer’s tend to have a hard time completing tasks that are familiar to them and have some difficulty speaking. This could include not being able to follow a conversation and not being able to think of a certain word. An additional sign is misplacing objects often, more specifically, putting objects in places that don’t quite make sense. 

Alzheimer’s symptoms get more severe as the disease progresses. (iStock)

Lastly, some other signs you may see in someone with the disease are disassociating from social activities, experiencing a change in mood and having poor judgment. It’s important to consider that some of these things may happen with old age, but if these symptoms are frequently present and don’t just occur here and there, it could be a sign of Alzheimer’s. If you or someone you love is experiencing these symptoms, it may be time to see a doctor.  

2. At what age does Alzheimer’s appear? 

While the risk for Alzheimer’s increases greatly for those of older age, it can affect younger people as well. A lot of people with the disease have what is called late-onset Alzheimer’s, which means that it develops when someone is around the age of 65. 

The most common symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is experiencing memory loss that starts to impact everyday life. (iStock)

For those who experience symptoms prior to that age, they fall into the early-onset category of the disease. Although one can get Alzheimer’s earlier in life, the largest risk factor for the disease is age. Therefore, as a person ages, the risk of getting Alzheimer’s increases.

3. What are the stages of Alzheimer’s?

There are multiple stages of Alzheimer’s disease that outline the progression of the disease. Each of these stages is going to come with some different symptoms and the original symptoms are going to get more severe. One of the most common ways to broadly categorize the three stages of Alzheimer’s disease are early (mild), middle (moderate) and late (severe). 


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