Alzheimer's is a progressive disease that robs you of your memory and destroys other important mental functions. In most cases, people develop Alzheimer's disease later in life, usually around 70 years of age. However, people who develop early-onset Alzheimer's may notice the first symptoms in their early 50s – sometimes younger. Early diagnosis is key to slowing down the disease. Here are four signs of early-onset Alzheimer's that you should be aware of.
Forgetting What Certain Things Do
It's one thing to forget where you put your glasses. It's another thing altogether to forget what your glasses are used for. Early-onset Alzheimer's can destroy your ability to remember important information about items you're familiar with. For instance, early-onset Alzheimer's may make you forget where to put your groceries when you get home from the store. If you or someone you love has begun placing things where they shouldn't go or has difficulty remembering what common items are used for, it may be time to sit down with a physician who specializes in Alzheimer's.
Change Of Behavior
Early-onset Alzheimer's can make it difficult to understand the difference between right and wrong. Frontotemporal Dementia, is an age-related brain disorder that usually strikes between the ages of 50 - 60 years old. This disorder affects your ability to make correct decisions and may be a precursor to Alzheimer's. If someone you love has suddenly behaving abnormally or has begun breaking the law, you should have them seen by a physician as soon as possible.
Staring Into Space
Early-onset Alzheimer's changes the brain's cognitive ability. Cognitive ability is responsible for your thought and memory patterns. Once early-onset Alzheimer's sets in, the brain has a hard time holding on to thoughts. When that happens, those thoughts can get tangled, which can make you forget what you were doing. As a result, you may get lost in thought and find yourself staring into space for extended periods of time.
Inability To Understand Sarcasm
When your brain is functioning properly, it has the ability to understand speech patterns, including sarcasm. Unfortunately, with early-onset Alzheimer's, that portion of the brain is damaged. As a result, you may find it difficult to recognize when someone is being sarcastic.
Alzheimer's is a devastating disease. Most people who develop the disease, don't see symptoms until later in life. However, early-onset Alzheimer's hits people earlier in life. If you or someone you love has begun exhibiting any of the symptoms described above, you should schedule an appointment with your family physician as soon as possible. For more information about Alzheimer's, consider contacting a professional like those at Bethesda Health Care Facility.