According to the Mayo Clinic, Alzheimer’s is a degenerative disease that destroys brain cells, called neurons. It was first described in 1906 by a German doctor named Alois Alzheimer.
Alzheimer’s, an illness that mostly affects older people, continues to gain ground. The Alzheimer Society of Canada reports that over 700,000 Canadians are afflicted with the disease. This number is expected to double to 1.4 million by 2031.
While a cure for this form of dementia has not yet been found, being aware of certain early signs is important. Several treatments, developed to mitigate these symptoms, are more likely to work if the disease is diagnosed early.
If you are worried about your health, don’t wait to make an appointment with your doctor.
Memory loss and the difficulty of completing daily tasks
Do you consistently forget where you put your keys? Perhaps you are simply forgetful by nature. On the other hand, if you frequently forget recent events or new information, the Alzheimer Society of Canada cautions that you may be at risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
One of the most common early signs of Alzheimer’s disease is disorientation. Some sufferers forget, for example, what day it is. Others believe they are living in a different time period or have difficulty figuring out where they are. Such signs should not be taken lightly and require medical attention.
Do you no longer know how to use your dishwasher? Has preparing a meal become a challenge? Have you forgotten how to brush your teeth? One of the most common early signs of Alzheimer’s is having difficulty performing habitual activities. If this sounds like you, make an appointment to see your doctor.
Occasionally having a hard time finding the right word does not necessarily mean you have Alzheimer’s disease. However, if your problems with language (difficulty finishing sentences, forgetting simple words, calling things by the wrong name, etc.) make it difficult for your friends and family to understand you, you are at a higher risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Other common symptoms associated with the disease
Making a mistake from time to time when working on your budget is a common occurrence. We can’t all be math geniuses. But it may be time to worry when you can no longer figure out how to pay your bills or add simple sums. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one of the early signs of Alzheimer’s is having difficulty working with numbers.