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Signs & Symptoms

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When short-term memory becomes an ongoing problem, it could be more than just normal aging – it could be the early signs of Alzheimer's disease.

This section will help you recognize the signs and symptoms of the disease – and see how they differ from normal aging. There’s also a Symptom Diary for you to record what you’re seeing in the family member you’re concerned about as well as a simple test that may help you decide whether the signs you’re witnessing warrant a visit with the doctor for further evaluation.

The Subtle Clues

Depending on the day, Betts would paint whirlpools or dragons. Her best friend Sybil says it took a long time to recognize the changes in her friends paintings and behavior and that the dragons were a sign of fear. Being afraid was a major obstacle in getting a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. But once it happened, they got the help they needed.

2 minutes, 45 seconds.

 

And the sooner you recognize the warning signs in someone you care about, the sooner you can speak to a doctor and ensure that they get the help they need.

Read about the important role of caregivers in detecting this disease  

 

Early detection by family members and friends  

Caregivers play a key role in recognizing the signs of Alzheimer's disease.

 

10 early signs 

Find out how to spot the disease while it's still in its early stage.

 

Normal aging vs. Alzheimer's disease 

Is what you're seeing just a normal part of aging? Learn the difference between Alzheimer's disease and aging.

 

Symptom diary 

To help determine if it is Alzheimer's disease, or to help their doctor optimize treatment, track the symptoms of the person you care about using this handy diary.

 

Should we see a doctor? 

How to know when it's time to make an appointment

 

Memory Test 

Take this simple test to help you decide whether it's time to take someone you care about to see a doctor for further evaluation and advice.

Responses to the Memory Test do not determine a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease – they may simply suggest the need for further assessment.

Test adapted from: Mundt JC, Freed DM and JH Greist. Lay person-based screening for elderly detection of Alzheimer’s disease: Development and validation of an instrument.