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Normal brain (left) and brain affected with Alzheimer’s disease (right).
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Answer

The first sign of Alzheimer’s disease is typically memory loss. While it is common for people to forget a few things, but remember them later, memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s is more severe. It can disrupt daily life and make it difficult for someone who suffers from it to carry on a normal conversation. Alzheimer’s victims find they have to start relying more on family members and tools such as notes and electronic devices to keep track of things. The Alzheimer’s Association lays out a list of 10 signs to be used for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease.

What is Alzheimer's?

Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that leads to decreased mental functioning over time. There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s and the causes are not well understood by science. Alzheimer’s disease typically strikes individuals in their mid-60s, but it can sometimes manifest when people are in their 30s or 40s. It affects the parts of the brain that control thought, memory and language. Alzheimer’s is a debilitating disease that prevents its victims from continuing to lead a normal life.

Next Steps

If you believe you or a family member may be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, the first step is diagnosis. Talk to your doctor about the symptoms and see whether a visit with a neurologist is necessary. While there is no known cure, medical professionals can offer help in the form of (1) helping people maintain mental function, (2) managing behavioral symptoms, and (3) slowing or delaying the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

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