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What Are the Symptoms and Signs?

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The signs and symptoms noticed initially may be confused to be that due to the aging process and hence tend to be overlooked. These initial symptoms gradually become severe as the disorder progresses. Other symptoms associated with the specific type of underlying disorders such as diabetes or heart illnesses are also observed concurrently depending on its severity.

The commonly noted initial symptom is mild forgetfulness wherein the affected individual may have difficulty in remembering recently performed activities or the names of familiar individuals or things. Such individuals tend to get lost on routes commonly used by them, have difficulty in performing simple mathematical calculations and may misplace items used by them.

As the age progresses, Alzheimer’s disease also progresses and the symptoms become more obvious and severe. The affected individuals begin to have difficulty in recognising familiar people and places they knew well before. They may have difficulty in performing simple tasks such as brushing or combing their hair. Other activities such as speaking, reading or understanding what other individuals tell them may also become difficult. Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease may also suffer from depression, may get agitated easily and become violent at times. Further, the individuals may be unable to look after themselves and need assistance in performing normal daily activities.1,2

References

1.Cummings JL, Frank JC, Cherry D, Kohatsu ND, Kemp B, Hewett L, et al. Guidelines for Managing Alzheimer's Disease: Part I. Assessment. Am Fam Physician. 2002; 65(11): 2263–2272.

2.MedlinePlus. Alzheimer’s disease. [homepage on Internet]. Bethesda, MD: U.S. National Library of Medicine; [updated 2006 May 16; cited 2008 Jan 20]. Available at: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000760.htm