Signs and symptoms
There are several distinct signs and symptoms of memory loss that may indicate Alzheimer's. If a person experiences one or more of the following signs or symptoms, they should speak to their doctor.
1. Memory loss that impedes daily activities
Lady writing notes because of memory loss due to early onset alzheimer's Reliance on memory aids may be a sign of early-onset Alzheimer's. The most common symptom of Alzheimer's is memory loss. A person experiencing memory loss may: forget recently learned information ask for same information repeatedly have a higher reliance on memory aids, such as calendars and notes forget important events or dates As a person ages, it is not uncommon to forget things from time to time. Typical, non-Alzheimer's memory loss may include forgetting an acquaintance's name but remembering it later on. A person with early-onset Alzheimer's will have more noticeable memory loss and may repeatedly forget the same information.
2. Trouble completing everyday tasks
Another common early sign of Alzheimer's is when a person has difficulty completing an otherwise familiar task. A person with early-onset Alzheimer's may: forget how to get to a grocery store, restaurant, or place of employment have problems balancing a home or work budget forget the rules of a familiar game Sometimes, natural aging may cause a person to need help with new or unfamiliar things. For example, helping an older loved one figure out the settings on their new phone is not uncommon and does not necessarily indicate a problem. By contrast, if a person has used the same phone for years and suddenly cannot remember how to make a phone call, they may be experiencing Alzheimer's-related memory loss.
3. Problem-solving or planning difficulties
Some people with early-onset Alzheimer's find they have trouble following directions, solving problems, and focusing. It may be hard for a person to follow a recipe or directions written on a product. They may also have trouble keeping track of monthly bills or expenses.
4. Problems with vision and spatial awareness
Alzheimer's can sometimes cause vision problems, which may make it difficult for a person to judge distances between objects. It may also cause a person to have difficulty distinguishing contrast and colors. These vision problems combined can make it difficult or impossible to drive. Normal aging also affects eyesight, so it is essential to have regular checkups with an eye doctor.
5. Confusion about location and time
Another common sign of early-onset Alzheimer's is getting confused about places or time. A person may have trouble keeping track of seasons, months, or time of day. A person may occasionally be unable to recognize where they are or have no memory of how they got there.