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What are the Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease?

Posted by: Prime Medic Inc. on September 01, 2021

Please note: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult your doctor about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Alzheimer's disease causes progressive or ongoing changes in a person’s ability to think and remember different things about their life. What do we mean by the ability to think? The brain’s functions, called cognitive functions, include a range of things or categories: it includes memory, language or speaking skills, speed of thought or how fast one memory can go to the other, and higher order thinking or executive function. Most specifically when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, short term memory is the key symptom or the main complaint that brings a patient to the Doctor’s office. However, Alzheimer’s disease is more than short term memory loss. It is also typically associated with symptoms of behavior changes. The key symptoms in combination with the short-term memory loss are depression, or mood changes, anxiety or agitation, and sometimes in the later stages of the disease, aggression. These types of personality changes in combination with short term memory loss are key symptoms, and they can be very challenging for family, loved ones and caregivers. In addition, physical symptoms of changes in sleep patterns are often seen. In early stages of Alzheimer’s, a person may continue to be able to function in everyday life, such as being able to continue to work or take care of themselves. However, as the disease gets worse, they lose the ability to take care of themselves and cannot complete routine everyday tasks like putting on their clothes or feeding themselves.

Watch this video of Alzheimer’s expert Dr. Richard Isaacson as he describes the symptoms of the condition.

Tags: Alzheimer's Disease, dementia, Alzheimers symptoms, cognitive functions, memory loss, anxiety, aggression

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Jointly provided by the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences at Eisenhower and Prime Medic Inc., in collaboration with Postgraduate Institute for Medicine.

This activity is supported by an independent educational grant from Biogen Idec.

This website is part of the Animated Patient™ series developed by Prime Medic Inc., to provide highly visual formats of learning for patients to improve their understanding, make informed decisions, and partner with their healthcare professionals for optimal outcomes.