While early-onset Alzheimer’s disease can strike at any time, Alzheimer’s is most common in adults over the age of 60, affecting as many as 5.1 million adults in the United States. However, recent research suggests that symptoms can begin appearing far earlier in life, so it’s important to keep track of any changes in your memory, judgment, and other higher brain function.
Here are 7 warning signs that might indicate Alzheimer’s-related memory loss. While brain changes are part of the normal aging cycle, it’s important to talk to your doctor about sudden or severe changes and anything that begins to significantly impact your daily life.
1 – Misplacing Things
Younger folks often like to joke about their grandparents putting the car keys in the refrigerator or leaving their glasses in the silverware drawer, but misplacing things – especially in odd places – can be an early sign of Alzheimer’s. While it’s normal to occasionally forget where you put your wallet when you got home, misplacing objects can be worrisome if it’s increasingly frequent, or if you can’t retrace your steps to figure out where you might have put the lost item.
2 – Problems With Decision-Making
Poor judgment can be a sign of Alzheimer’s when taken to the extreme. While occasionally spending more money than you should on a big purchase is an unfortunate fact of life, people whose decision-making skills completely and suddenly go out the window, or who begin making decisions out of line with their usual characters, may be exhibiting early Alzheimer’s symptoms.
3 – Issues With Words
This can take a number of forms, from forgetting vocabulary words to struggling to describe abstract thoughts to having difficulty with the physical process of writing. An occasional “tip of the tongue” forgotten word is totally normal, but general communication difficulties may signal a larger problem.
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