Over 30 million people worldwide are living with Alzheimer’s disease. Use this list to help to distinguish between the normal memory loss that accompanies aging and early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Talk with your physician if you or a family member is displaying any of these symptoms:
1 Memory loss that disrupts daily life. This common sign of Alzheimer’s includes forgetting important dates, events and recently learned information, as well as repeatedly asking for the same information and relying on others for completion of previously routine tasks.
2 Planning and problem solving challenges. Common examples are taking a long time to complete familiar, simple tasks such as developing a plan, working with numbers, following directions (such as a recipe) or keeping track of monthly bills.
3 Familiar tasks become unfamiliar. It may be difficult to complete daily, routine tasks such as driving to a familiar location, reciting much-used phone numbers, or remembering the rules of favorite games.
4 Confusion about time or place. Losing track of dates, where you are or how you got there, and the general passage of time without recognition is a sign of Alzheimer’s.
5 Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships. Difficulty reading, judging distance, determining color or contrast, and confusion as to what is reflected in a mirror may affect some people with Alzheimer’s.
Many women experience confusion and ‘brain fog’ at menopause as hormones adjust and change, but knowing the difference between this common experience and Alzheimer’s can be critical in getting the right help at the right time.