Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that affects millions of people in the U.S and across the world. While the disease commonly affects those aged 65 and over, up to 5% of individuals diagnosed have early onset Alzheimer’s disease, meaning that they are likely to be diagnosed in their 40s or 50s.
If you are worried about a loved one and have noticed a change in their behavior, the common warning signs of early onset Alzheimer’s disease can help you know what to look out for. Some of them are listed below.
While mild memory loss is normal as we get older, if you’ve noticed a loved one has started to forget simple things on a day to day basis, this is a cause for concern that shouldn’t be ignored. When they’re forgetting important events or dates, or need frequent reminders, your loved one must see a doctor as soon as possible. Memory loss only deteriorates through the stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
People with early onset Alzheimer’s disease can have visual difficulties that are caused by the brain. If a loved one is having greater difficulty reading things, or they begin to struggle determining color or contrast when driving, these are red flags that need to be addressed. People living with Alzheimer’s and sight loss are at an increased risk of falls, as well as being a danger to others on the road.
Difficulty Completing Daily Tasks
Some people with early onset of Alzheimer’s disease may face great difficulty with concentration. Simple day to day tasks like taking the garbage out, going to the grocery store, or keeping the house in good condition may be a struggle as the disease progresses. If you have noticed your loved one isn’t keeping on top of things, this is a warning sign that shouldn’t go unnoticed.
If your loved one has become distant and withdrawn, this is another warning sign of early onset Alzheimer’s, especially if they’re normally the life and soul of the party. Extreme swings in personality and mood can occur in those with Alzheimer’s disease. So, if you’ve noticed your loved one is becoming more irritable or is suffering from anxiety and depression, it’s time to see a doctor.
Struggles with Conversation
When having a conversation with your loved one, they may start to have difficulty finding the right words. If a conversation randomly pauses in the middle, or they find it difficult to finish a sentence, they must speak to their doctor as soon as possible. Many people who are yet to be diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease may begin repeating themselves and asking the same questions.
Whether it’s a parent, family member, or friend, if any of your loved ones present the warning signs above, they must schedule an appointment with their doctor. While all the symptoms above can be a result of thousands of other conditions and diseases, it’s best to get an official diagnosis as quickly as possible to either rule out early onset Alzheimer’s disease, or know what steps to take next.