Doctor shares ‘early signs’ of Alzheimer’s disease including ‘forgetting words’

Alzheimers Research UK explain 'what is dementia?'

Many people link memory loss with Alzheimer’s disease, a type of dementia. But according to Dr MacSweeney, signs of the condition are much more subtle.

Dr MacSweeney said recognising the early signs could open the door for future care and treatment opportunities, which includes access to new-generation clinical trials.

People who are concerned about the development of Alzheimer’s disease in themselves or a loved one should be on the lookout for the following symptoms.

Dr MacSweeney warned of short-term memory loss that can manifest in “forgetting details of recent events or conversations and important dates”.

There could be changes in behaviour, such as “unexpected and uncharacteristic anger and changes in mood”.

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Some people who are experiencing a build-up of plaque and tangles in the brain might become passive and disinterested.

Confusion could appear, which could include “losing track of time or problems with processing information”.

Dr MacSweeney added that “forgetting words and experiencing problems with speech and language” might be another sign of Alzheimer’s disease.

A person experiencing the condition could lose their sense of direction meaning they get disoriented in a familiar environment.

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There can be difficulty in performing everyday tasks, such as making a cup of tea.

If not present before, a sudden “difficulty with managing money or completing simple sums and puzzles” could be a sign of this type of dementia.

Other symptoms could include:

  • Misplacing items, such as putting keys in the freezer
  • Difficulty making decisions, such as wearing inappropriate clothing
  • Issues with visual images and spacial awareness.

Dr MacSweeney said: “If you or someone you love is having two or more of these issues, it’s important to consult with a medical expert at the earliest opportunity.

“If it is the very early stages of Alzheimer’s, there’s a lot you can do.

“It’s an exciting time in Alzheimer’s research with the development of new-generation medications designed to slow down, or ideally halt the progression of Alzheimer’s.”

Dr Emer MacSweeney is the CEO and Consultant Neuroradiologist at Re:Cognition Health.

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