Early Alzheimer's Symptoms

What are the early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease?

Did you know...

Worldwide, nearly 36 million people are believed to be living with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias. By 2013, if breakthroughs are not made, we will see an increase to nearly 66 million. By 2050, rates could exceed 115 million.1

The onset of dementia associated with Alzheimer's disease can go unrecognized for years.12

Early Alzheimer's Symptoms

Early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease

It's important to remember that there are differences between normal age-related memory impairment, mild cognitive impairment and prodromal Alzheimer's disease:

  • Mild memory loss or impairment is a common part of the normal aging process and doesn't necessarily signify Alzheimer's disease.
  • Mild cognitive impairment is a diagnosis that may be given to people who are experincing problems with their memory but who do not actually have dementia. Not everyone diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment will go on to develop dementia.14
  • Prodromal Alzheimer's describes the early stage of Alzheimer's disease. 

Only a doctor can diagnose the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Some of the differences between the signs of Alzheimer’s disease and typical age-related changes are shown below:

Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease Typical age-related changes
Difficulty remembering recent events Some difficulty remembering events from the past
Poor judgment and decision making Making a bad decision once in a while
Inability to manage a budget Missing a monthly payment
Losing track of the date or the season Forgetting which day it is and remembering later
Difficulty having a conversation
Repeating the same stories over and over again
Sometimes forgetting which word to use
Misplacing things and being unable to retrace steps to find them Losing things from time to time
Changes in mood and personality, inappropriate social behavior Developing very specific ways of doing things and becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted
Withdrawal from work or social activities Sometimes feeling weary of work, family and social obligations
New problems with spoken and written words Sometimes struggling to find the right words
Trouble understanding visual images Struggling with vision due to age - related eye impairment
Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure Occasionally needing help with technical settings

If memory loss gets worse or has a significant effect on daily life, see a doctor

  • Forgetfulness can happen at any age; it doesn't necessarily mean it's Alzheimer's disease
  • memory loss can be caused by many things, Alzheimer’s disease is one of these
  • Taking care of yourself with a healthy lifestyle, frequent exercise and regular blood pressure checks may help protect your brain
  • Only a doctor can diagnose early Alzheimer’s disease symptoms
  • There are risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s disease

Am I at Risk of developing Early Alzheimer's disease?