Dementia is a chronic, organic psycho – syndrome which is characterized by losing the intellectual functions, as well as the ability to memorize, solve problems, abstract thinking, spatial and visual reasoning, and it affects the verbal abilities. There are many factors that can cause dementia, but mostly it appears as an “addition” to some of the neurodegenerative diseases, all of which the Alzheimer’s disease is number one.
The Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease which affects the mental functions of the brain. In its early stages, this disease cannot be well separated from the normal process of aging. People are often confused, whether they are affected by the disease, or it is just the normal aging process. This next list of signs and symptoms will help you make sure if someone is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, or is it just the normal aging process.
1. Memory loss – In today’s world, we are often stressed over a lot of things like work, family, finances, our future… These are all causes of a memory loss. How often do you forget names, forget about a meeting, someone’s birthday… That is not supposed to concern us, but if someone forgets things learned not so long ago is concerning. When we say things, we refer to important dates, events, or if a certain person often talks, or writes about a certain thing might be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease. As the disease progresses, the memory loss is getting worse.
2. Problems during doing normal activities – People suffering from Alzheimer’s disease have hard times doing activities that have been doing normally before the disease. In the further phases of this disease, problems become more noticeable, and the person suffering from it cannot even dress himself, or prepare a meal.
3. Thinking and reasoning disorders – While affected by this disease, people are having troubles in times when they should be thinking and reasoning properly. It actually is losing the ability to think straight and be able to make decisions. For example, some people have been reasonably spending their money for their entire life, now if they are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, they do not care about the money at all.
4. Problems with picture interpretation – In some cases of the Alzheimer’s disease, vision problems might occur. These vision problems might be:
– Inability to perceive how far a certain object is
– Reading disorders
– Problems with colors
5. Writing and reading problems – People suffering from Alzheimer’s disease often have problems with maintaining their concentration levels while a normal conversation, or even conducting a normal conversation with other people. Most often, they do not end the conversation that they have started, or they keep repeating what they have already said. There might be problems with the vocabulary as well. These problems might include the inability to find the right word at the moment or using the wrong words. For example they cannot recall the word “pajamas” and they describe it as “something you put on before you go to bed”.
6. Problems with orientation in time and space – Alzheimer’s disease can cause people to forget the time and the date. Very often these people do not know what day it is, or what year it is. Most of the time they get lost and do not know how to get back home.
7. Placing objects where they don’t belong – Doing this or losing objects that belong to them is nothing new for people affected by Alzheimer’s disease. After this happens, they cannot remember where the objects might be, or where have they put them. Accusing others of stealing their belongings happens often. It is quite normal that a person can forget where they put their glasses, but it is not normal for them to put the glasses in the refrigerator, or some other place like that.
8. Becoming an introvert person avoiding socializing – As the Alzheimer’s disease progresses, people affected by it become more closed in aspects of socializing with other people. They quit their hobbies, social activities, their work and they avoid contact with other people.
9. Often mood and behavior change – These people change their mood and their behavior really often without any special reason. It is just because they feel like doing it. Most often these people are stressed, paranoid, confused or even scared at times. They fear from places that they have been feeling comfortable before the Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers say that around 40% of the people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease are affected by depression.