Written by Gurleen Khaira
Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s is a condition that impacts millions around the world. In the USA alone, it is forecasted that 14 million people will have the condition by 2050. Through extensive research, scientists have found some signs which may indicate the development of Alzheimer’s before you have actually been diagnosed. Early detection is important as it can help you understand possible changes in your personality or body, and help you prepare for the eventual diagnosis of the condition.
1. Losing your sense of smell
According to research, losing your ability to smell different scents can be a sign of Alzheimers. Smell is a vital sense that helps you remember memories. For example, a certain perfume can remind you of a person, or the smell of a certain food can remind you of a special meal.
2. Lack of motivation
Whilst everyone has their days where you feel like being lazy, and doing nothing, continuous passive behavior can be a warning of Alzheimer’s. Losing your initiative to complete everyday tasks, or sleeping more than usual can signal Alzheimer’s.
3. Forgetting names
Unfortunately, one of the most heartbreaking consequences of Alzheimer’s is forgetting about your family and loved ones. An early sign of this can be forgetting your loved ones’ names.
4. Losing your ability to problem-solve
According to Columbia University, a decreasing ability to complete activities which require some problem-solving can be a sign of Alzheimer’s. Activities would include following a recipe or paying a bill; tasks that would otherwise be rather simple.
5. Easily Irritable
Through their study of 2416 people over the age of 50, Washington University School of Medicine found that irritability is a behavior change associated with the development of alzheimers. Those participants which developed Alzheimer’s also became more irritable, whilst those whose cognitive function stayed the same witnessed no change in irritability.
The study above also sought to investigate the link between cognitive decline and depression. It was found that 30% of participants that went on to develop dementia showed signs of depression. Researchers know that, for those who already have dementia or Alzheimer’s, depression can actually worsen their cognitive state.
7. Skewed perception of time
Those with Alzheimer’s often perceive time differently. A few minutes can feel like hours or even weeks. This contributes to further confusion since you may have met someone a few minutes ago, but think it was weeks ago.
8. Eyesight difficulties
According to studies, those with Alzheimers may struggle with some aspects of sight. Your ability to perceive depth, as in seeing the world through three dimensions, may decrease. Moreover, your ability to see contrast may also decrease. For example, you may struggle to see liquid in a tub.
9. Lack of focus
A decrease in concentration span can be a signal for Alzheimer’s. Someone may struggle to concentrate and follow a conversation for more than a few minutes, or even seconds.
10. Increased Anxiety
Researchers have found that those who experience increased levels of anxiety also have a larger build-up of Alzheimer’s associated plaques. Therefore, becoming more anxious may be a sign of Alzheimer’s.