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Detecting The 10 Early Alzheimer’s Symptoms and Signs

Updated on September 13, 2015

Though forgetting occasionally may be deemed normal yet you should be careful of memory loss that begins to interfere with your daily life. This is important because such a memory loss may point out to the onset of Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia.

If you or a loved one is suffering from a memory loss which has begun to interfere with your daily life, it is time to pay attention to the ten early signs of Alzheimer’s. Let’s begin this article with how the disease affects you.

What is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s is a disease that affects your brain and its vital function like

  • Memory
  • Reasoning skills
  • Thinking process

The 10 Early Alzheimer’s Signs to Watch Out For

Below are the 10 early signs of the disease to watch out for

1) Memory Loss which Interferes With Daily Life

This is the foremost sign of Alzheimer’s to watch out for, a memory loss which starts to interfere with your daily life. If you or a loved one is suffering from the disease, the early signs and symptoms of the disease include

  • You are more likely to forget and recall the recently learnt information as compared to the information that you learnt previously.
  • You are likely to forget important events and dates
  • You are likely to ask for information repeatedly owing to your inability to remember and retain it.
  • You are likely to rely more on your family members and those around you for things you previously used to handle on your own.
  • You are more likely to rely on reminders and other memory aids

However, if you forget appointments and names only to remember them later, this can be deemed a typical age related change and should not be confused with Alzheimer’s.

2) Trouble Planning, Following Plan, Problem Solving and Keeping Track

You are likely to experience trouble planning, following a plan and solving a problem. You may also experience difficulty following something which you previously had dexterity over. Similarly, it may become challenging for you to keep track of stuff or work with numbers.

Concentration is another avenue which is likely to become challenging for you and you may find yourself taking longer than usual to do things you previously did with ease.

However, occasional errors while balancing figure related books like checkbook should be deemed normal or age related and should not be confused with Alzheimer’s.

3) Trouble Performing Routine Tasks

If you or a loved one are finding it difficult to perform your daily/routine tasks and are faced with an inability to remember well-known and familiar rules and/or driving to a well-familiar location, these may point out to the early signs of Alzheimer’s.

However, make sure you do not confuse these signs with the normal age related changes which may include needing occasional help on matters like machine settings such as the ATM and microwave machines.

4) Experiencing Confusion with Place and Time

Another early sign of the disease is the onset of confusion related with place and time. If you or a loved one are finding yourself losing track of place, time and experiencing confusion regarding where you are or how you got there then it is time to consult your health practitioner.

It is important to note here that people with this disease are likely to find themselves at a loss to figure out the passage of time, dates and seasons.

However, a confusion regarding the day of the week that you are able to figure out later does not point out to Alzheimer’s.

5) Experience Confusion with Visual Images

Another sign, that may help you detect the disease at an early stage, is suddenly experiencing vision related problems. People with Alzheimer’s are therefore, highly likely to start experiencing difficulty with driving as their ability to judge distances, read signs, determine colors and respective contrasts deteriorate significantly.

However, beware of visual changes which are related to cataract and are therefore, not related with the disease.

6) Trouble in Conversation

Conversation may become a challenge for people suffering from Alzheimer’s as they are likely to experience trouble joining and following a conversation. If you feel that you or a loved one start experiencing confusion or feel lost during an ongoing conversation, it may point out to the early stages of the disease.

You may find yourself repeating what you have already said and feel at a loss to continue the conversation. Similarly, you may also find yourself or your loved one struggling with vocabulary, calling things by wrong names and facing an inability to come up with the right word.

However, an occasional struggle to find the right word should not be confused with Alzheimer’s.

7) Misplace Things and/or Keep them at Unusual Places

If you are increasingly finding yourself misplacing things and discover them at unusual places this may indeed point out to an early stage of the disease. Usually this is accompanied by an inability to recall and find out where you have placed the things. In such a situation people may often find themselves accusing others of stealing their things.

However, misplacing things now and then and yet able to find them is deemed an age related change and does not point out to Alzheimer’s.

8) Poor Judgment and Decreased Attention to Hygiene and Grooming

Poor judgment and decision making point out to another early sign of Alzheimer’s which may also result in monetary losses to people suffering from the disease. Similarly, you may also find yourself paying less attention to your hygiene and grooming.

However, a poor decision once certainly does not point out to Alzheimer’s.

9) Withdrawal from Social Circle and Work

Withdrawal from social life, hobbies, sports and work that you once enjoyed and loved doing is another sign of Alzheimer’s. This may be owing to many reasons including your own inability to keep up, follow, converse and perform in your social circle, hobby, sports and work.

However, withdrawal from social life, hobby, sports or work owing to feeling overwhelmed once in a while does not point out to Alzheimer’s disease.


10) Personality and Mood Changes

Accompanying these changes are also changes in personality and mood. People who are suffering from the disease may increasingly become anxious, depressed, confused, fearful and suspicious.

These changes in your personality and mood may make you vulnerable to irritation whether at home, workplace and social circle and especially when you are out of your comfort zone.

However, these personality and mood changes should not be confused when irritability in individual is caused by the disruption of a routine which the individual is highly accustomed to.


These are the 10 early signs of Alzheimer’s that can help you detect this disease. In the event you notice one or more of these in yourself or a loved one immediately consult your doctor.

Remember an early diagnosis of the disease can help you provide certain relief in its symptoms and allow you to maintain a certain level of independence for a relative longer period of time. Therefore, do not delay consulting your doctor once you notice one or more of these signs.


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    • mixedfruit4u profile image

      mixedfruit4u 2 years ago

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    • Peter Geekie profile image

      Peter Geekie 2 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Well written and balanced view.

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      kind regards Peter

    • mixedfruit4u profile image

      mixedfruit4u 2 years ago

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    • lisavanvorst profile image

      Lisa VanVorst 2 years ago from New Jersey

      Excellent and informative article. I am a Recreation Director and plan program for Alzheimer's/Dementia residents. Yes many of the signs you mention can be related to getting older and also being under stress, not necessarily Alzheimer's. Well written.