What are the signs and symptoms?
  • Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia, which is the loss of intellectual and social abilities severe enough to interfere with daily functioning. Dementia occurs in people with Alzheimer's disease because healthy brain tissue degenerates, causing a steady decline in memory and mental abilities. Increasing and persistent forgetfulness, especially of recent events or simple directions, what begins as mild forgetfulness persists and worsens. People with Alzheimer's routinely misplace things, often putting them in illogical locations. They frequently forget names, and eventually, they may forget the names of family members and everyday objects.
  • Difficulties with abstract thinking. People with Alzheimer's may initially have trouble balancing their checkbook, a problem that progresses to trouble recognizing and dealing with numbers.
  • Difficulties finding the right word to express thoughts or even follow conversations. Eventually, reading and writing also are affected.
  • Disorientation to time and dates. They may find themselves lost in familiar surroundings.
  • Loss of judgment. Solving everyday problems, such as knowing what to do if food on the stove is burning, becomes increasingly difficult, eventually impossible.
  • Difficulties performing familiar and routine tasks that require sequential steps, such as cooking, become a struggle as the disease progresses. Eventually, forget how to do even the most basic things.
  • Personality changes. People with Alzheimer's may exhibit mood swings. They may express distrust in others, show increased stubbornness and withdraw socially.