Answers to Common Alzheimer’s Disease Questions

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about Alzheimer’s disease and how to live with and manage the condition.

What are the common early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease?

Dr. Larry Lawhorne discusses the early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

   

Remember that this can be very subtle, but there is almost always memory loss. It’s usually short-term memory that is affected, like forgetting what your wife just told you or forgetting what your husband just told you. There are also other symptoms that relate to cognition, such as some loss of language skills. Word finding is a very common problem that people have in early Alzheimer's disease. They just can’t remember the word for something. They might be able to describe it. They’ll say, “Well, you know, I need that thing that you hold in your hand and you write with.” “You need a pen?” “Yes, that’s right. I need a pen.

People may start to forget how to do procedural things like taking out the trash. A wife might say that she had to start reminding her husband it was trash day. Then, after a while, she would have to follow him around to remind him to empty all the trash bins into the garbage bag. And then finally, he’d just not remember how to do it correctly or in the right sequence.

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Source: Larry Lawhorne, MD, Wright State Physicians; National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer’s Association