“The very first sign of alzheimer’s is that you can’t remember that you’ve forgotten something,” says Dr Manjari Tripathi, Neurologist, Cognitive Disorders Clinic at AIIMS, Delhi. “You have to be told that you forgot to do a certain task,” she adds. At a recent event organised by the Alzheimer’s Society, Delhi Chapter, at Smile Studio Dental Clinic MH had the opportunity to interact with industry experts and know more about the early signs one should watch out for. “Alzheimer’s is the result of the cognitive decline in human beings. In the case of Alzheimer’s, it declines with old age and hampers our ability to perform daily tasks seamlessly,” says Dr Manjari. Even if you aren’t of age, you will definitely have older members in your family who could be susceptible to the disease. Here are 5 signs of Alzheimer’s everyone must watch out for:
1. Memory Loss
We all forget things. It’s normal to be slightly forgetful and forget to do a few things on your task list. With old age, it’s normal to forget a few things but it’s also true that you can recall them later. In the case of Alzheimer’s that’s never the case. The sufferer forgets recently learned information and this may hamper his/her daily routine.
2. Difficulty Understanding Spatial Relations
Inability to process distance or tell the colour might be confused with vision changes in old age. According to the Alzheimer's Association, for some people experiencing vision problems is a sign of the disease.
3. Problems With Words (Speaking Or Writing)
People suffering from Alzheimer’s often find it difficult to join sentences and find the right words for some objects or things. They may also have a problem with continuing a sentence and might repeat themselves several times. “Since the disease only arises during old age, a lot of people attribute the subtle signs to the same. It’s the most common reason why most cases of Alzheimer’s go undetected in the first stage,” says Wg Cdr. V. P. Singh, who is also a member of the Alzheimer’s Society.
4. Withdrawal From Social Activities
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, people suffering from the diseases withdraw themselves from social activities or hobbies they once enjoyed doing. This simply happens because of the changes they’ve experienced. According to V. P. Singh, since most of these signs are attributed to old age, members of the family start getting irritated with the person suffering. This could be a reason why the sufferer might withdraw oneself from social activities.
5. Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks At Home
Alzheimer’s affects your activities of daily living (ADL). So, you forget how to carry out certain functions completely and that results in difficulty in completing familiar tasks. “For the person suffering, memories from the past will remain fresh, but he/she will forget how to carry out daily functions. For example, a notable sign could be that the person forgets how to tie his tie. When he’s been doing this for years,” explains Dr Manjari.
So, the next time any aged member of your family shows any of these signs, please take them to the doctor.