Alzheimer's - Early Signs and Symptoms

Recognizing Early Signs and Symptoms

Alzheimer’s disease can cause many different symptoms—not just memory loss.1,2,3,4 If you notice these symptoms affecting you or a loved one, it’s important to speak to a doctor. They can provide a formal assessment and connect you with the right information and resources for your needs.

You Can Take Action

Being informed about what to look for can help you catch signs of Alzheimer’s in its earliest stages and use time to your advantage. Some things to watch for include:

Memory loss that disrupts everyday life.Alzheimer’s disease often disrupts daily tasks and interactions by causing people to forget important information, such as scheduled events, the names of close friends and family, or even information they just learned. This may lead people to ask the same question over and over again or rely heavily on “memory aids” like reminder notes.
Struggling with familiar activities.Planning and concentrating become more difficult with Alzheimer’s. This can cause people to struggle with familiar activities, like driving, shopping, cooking, or paying bills, which may begin to take longer than before.
Confusion about time, date, or place.People with Alzheimer’s may get lost, even in familiar places, struggle to follow directions, or not understand how they got somewhere. People may also become confused about dates and times, especially those in the past or future
Difficulty speaking or writing.Alzheimer’s can make it hard to join or continue a conversation. A person might repeat themselves, stop in the middle of talking, or struggle to remember the right words for common objects.
Changes in vision or perception.Alzheimer’s can also affect vision, balance, and the ability to judge distance or colors. This may cause people to spill or drop things more often, or trip, even in familiar places.
Changes in mood or behavior.Alzheimer’s may cause a person to lose interest in work, hobbies, or social activities. It can also lead to personality changes, making people fearful, suspicious, anxious, or easily upset. A person with Alzheimer’s may also struggle to take care of themselves, including maintaining hygiene, managing money or keeping track of possessions.
If you notice these signs, talk to a doctor or loved one.Detecting Alzheimer’s early provides more time to make daily adjustments and plan for the future. There are actions that can help people with Alzheimer’s at any stage of the disease. Talk to your doctor if you notice these signs yourself, or talk to a loved one if you notice these signs affecting them.
Memory loss that disrupts everyday life.Alzheimer’s disease often disrupts daily tasks and interactions by causing people to forget important information, such as scheduled events, the names of close friends and family, or even information they just learned. This may lead people to ask the same question over and over again or rely heavily on “memory aids” like reminder notes.
Struggling with familiar activities.Planning and concentrating become more difficult with Alzheimer’s. This can cause people to struggle with familiar activities, like driving, shopping, cooking, or paying bills, which may begin to take longer than before.
Confusion about time, date, or place.People with Alzheimer’s may get lost, even in familiar places, struggle to follow directions, or not understand how they got somewhere. People may also become confused about dates and times, especially those in the past or future
Difficulty speaking or writing.Alzheimer’s can make it hard to join or continue a conversation. A person might repeat themselves, stop in the middle of talking, or struggle to remember the right words for common objects.
Changes in vision or perception.Alzheimer’s can also affect vision, balance, and the ability to judge distance or colors. This may cause people to spill or drop things more often, or trip, even in familiar places.
Changes in mood or behavior.Alzheimer’s may cause a person to lose interest in work, hobbies, or social activities. It can also lead to personality changes, making people fearful, suspicious, anxious, or easily upset. A person with Alzheimer’s may also struggle to take care of themselves, including maintaining hygiene, managing money or keeping track of possessions.
If you notice these signs, talk to a doctor or loved one.Detecting Alzheimer’s early provides more time to make daily adjustments and plan for the future. There are actions that can help people with Alzheimer’s at any stage of the disease. Talk to your doctor if you notice these signs yourself, or talk to a loved one if you notice these signs affecting them.