News for Durham Residents: 7 Surprising Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

January 20, 2017

The average Alzheimer’s patient is a woman in her 70’s whose disease progresses slowly. However, there is early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease and about 200,000 people have it in the U.S. There are ways to recognize if you may be at risk or susceptible to the disease and many of these don’t involve memory problems.

Stealing or law breaking activity is a concern especially in people aged 45-65. They may become unable to tell right from wrong. It is often a sign of FTD (Frontotemperal Dementia). It disrupts the executive function in the brain.

Frequent falling may be an indicator of a cognitive problem. Those who fall frequently may see a correlation between falls and early onset Alzheimers Disease.

Forgetting the functions of things can be an indicator. Forgetting where you last put your keys is one thing, but forgetting what a key is for is completely different. People may forget that dishes go in a dishwasher or how to use an oven.

Eating inappropriate things like paper or inedible objects may be a sign of dementia. Before an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, people tend to eat more and still lose weight. This could be a change in their metabolic rate. Doctors also believe the brain may receive hunger signals, but can’t figure out how to react to them.

No longer recognizing sarcasm may be a sign of brain atrophy. Taking sarcasm literally or seriously may show a loss of short-term memory. The person is unable to process sarcasm in face-to-face encounters.

Clinical depression early in life can lead to Alzheimer’s especially if it develops later in life after age 50. Doctors speculate that hormones released from a depressed brain may damage certain areas of the the brain, leading to dementia. One study showed that people suffering from depression after age 50 were three times more likely to develop an Alzheimer’s related disease. It is better to get treatment as soon as possible.

Lastly, unfocused staring is a sign of Alzheimer’s. You brain becomes essentially unfocused due to the change in cognitive and executive functioning in the brain. Your ability to recall memories, information and facts can be compromised. Staring may indicate tangles in your brain.

All of these symptoms could signal Alzheimer’s Disease, but they could also be signs of other underlying conditions that require medical attention. Share your symptoms with your doctor, so they can make the best diagnosis and treatment plans.

Have a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s in the Chapel Hill or Durham area?
Need a qualified person to provide in home care?
Acorn can help you get qualified, compassionate in home care givers.

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