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Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease

Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease: Introduction

The symptoms of Alzheimer's disease generally develop gradually, and it is believed that the earliest stage of the disease may begin decades before symptoms appear. The way that symptoms of Alzheimer's disease develop varies between individuals. However, every person with Alzheimer's disease ultimately becomes permanently and completely disabled. Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease usually appear after age 65, there is a rare familial subtype that occurs earlier.

Early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease include problems with memory, including slight forgetfulness, most often of recent events. There is also a slowing down of the thinking and learning processes. These symptoms can also be a normal part of the aging process. However, in the normal aging process, the accuracy of memory or thoughts does not decline, just the speed. In other words, people who are experiencing changes in the brain due to the normal aging process might take longer to remember a familiar person's name, but they generally will remember it.

In contrast, a person with Alzheimer's disease develops memory problems that are severe enough to impact daily functioning and can become completely unable to remember a familiar person's name. Eventually a person with Alzheimer's disease may not even recognize family members or close friends.

Other symptoms of Alzheimer's include an inability to complete familiar tasks or work with numbers, such as in paying bills. Symptoms also include confusion with time and date and disorientation to place. This can lead to wandering and getting lost in a familiar place. Other symptoms include difficulty with reading and writing, losing items, poor judgement, social withdrawal, difficulty speaking and communicating, and changes in emotion. People with Alzheimer's may become restless, anxious, angry, and agitated.

Symptoms become more severe as the disease progresses, leading to disability and making it difficult and eventually impossible for a person with Alzheimer's disease to safely care for themselves. Death usually occurs within about four to eight years of diagnosis, although some people can live much longer with the disease....more about Alzheimer's Disease »

Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease

The list of signs and symptoms mentioned in various sources for Alzheimer's Disease includes the 34 symptoms listed below:

Research symptoms & diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease:

Alzheimer's Disease: Symptom Checkers

Review the available symptom checkers for these symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease:

Alzheimer's Disease: Symptom Assessment Questionnaires

Review the available Assessment Questionnaires for the symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease:

Alzheimer's Disease: Complications

Review medical complications possibly associated with Alzheimer's Disease:

Diagnostic Testing

Diagnostic testing of medical conditions related to Alzheimer's Disease:

Research More About Alzheimer's Disease

Do I have Alzheimer's Disease?

Alzheimer's Disease: Medical Mistakes

Alzheimer's Disease: Undiagnosed Conditions

Diseases that may be commonly undiagnosed in related medical areas:

Home Diagnostic Testing

Home medical tests related to Alzheimer's Disease:

Wrongly Diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease?

The list of other diseases or medical conditions that may be on the differential diagnosis list of alternative diagnoses for Alzheimer's Disease includes:

Alzheimer's Disease: Research Doctors & Specialists

Research all specialists including ratings, affiliations, and sanctions.

More about symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease:

More information about symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease and related conditions:

Other Possible Causes of these Symptoms

Click on any of the symptoms below to see a full list of other causes including diseases, medical conditions, toxins, drug interactions, or drug side effect causes of that symptom.

Article Excerpts About Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease:

Genes and Disease by the National Center for Biotechnology (Excerpt)

Some of the most frequently observed symptoms of the disease include a progressive inability to remember facts and events and, later, to recognize friends and family. (Source: Genes and Disease by the National Center for Biotechnology)

NINDS Alzheimer's Disease Information Page: NINDS (Excerpt)

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease characterized by memory loss, language deterioration, impaired visuospatial skills, poor judgment, indifferent attitude, but preserved motor function. AD usually begins after age 65, however, its onset may occur as early as age 40 , appearing first as memory decline and, over several years, destroying cognition, personality, and ability to function. Confusion and restlessness may also occur. The type, severity, sequence, and progression of mental changes vary widely. (Source: excerpt from NINDS Alzheimer's Disease Information Page: NINDS)

Aging -- Women Getting Older: NWHIC (Excerpt)

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia in older people. A D begins slowly. At first, the only symptom may be mild forgetfulness. People with AD may have trouble remembering recent events, activities, or the names of familiar people or things. Simple math problems may become hard for these people to solve. Such difficulties may be a bother, but usually, they are not serious enough to cause alarm.

However, as the disease progresses, symptoms are more easily noticed and become serious enough to cause people with AD or their family members to seek medical help. For example, people with AD may forget how to do simple tasks like brushing their teeth or combing their hair. They can no longer think clearly; and they begin to have problems speaking, understanding, reading, or writing. Later on, people with AD may become anxious or aggressive, or wander away from home. Eventually, they may need total care. (Source: excerpt from Aging -- Women Getting Older: NWHIC)

NIA's Progress Report on Alzheimer's Disease, 1998: NIA (Excerpt)

AD advances by stages, from early, mild forgetfulness to severe dementia. Dementia is the loss of mental function. In most people with AD, symptoms first appear after age 60. The earliest symptoms often include loss of recent memory, faulty judgment, and changes in personality. Often, people in the initial stages of AD think less clearly and forget the names of familiar people and common objects. Later in the disease, they may forget how to do simple tasks like washing their hands. Eventually, people with AD lose all reasoning abilities and become dependent on other people for their everyday care. Finally, the disease becomes so debilitating that patients are bedridden and likely to develop coexisting illnesses. Most commonly, people with AD die from pneumonia. (Source: excerpt from NIA's Progress Report on Alzheimer's Disease, 1998: NIA)

Alzheimer's Disease as a Cause of Symptoms or Medical Conditions

When considering symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease, it is also important to consider Alzheimer's Disease as a possible cause of other medical conditions. The Disease Database lists the following medical conditions that Alzheimer's Disease may cause:

- (Source - Diseases Database)

Alzheimer's Disease as a symptom:

For a more detailed analysis of Alzheimer's Disease as a symptom, including causes, drug side effect causes, and drug interaction causes, please see our Symptom Center information for Alzheimer's Disease.

Medical articles and books on symptoms:

These general reference articles may be of interest in relation to medical signs and symptoms of disease in general:

About signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease:

The symptom information on this page attempts to provide a list of some possible signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease. This signs and symptoms information for Alzheimer's Disease has been gathered from various sources, may not be fully accurate, and may not be the full list of Alzheimer's Disease signs or Alzheimer's Disease symptoms. Furthermore, signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease may vary on an individual basis for each patient. Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of any signs or symptoms and whether they are indeed Alzheimer's Disease symptoms.


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