Alzheimer's: Dr Chris discusses the early signs of condition
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Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive condition, which means symptoms develop gradually over many years and eventually become more severe. But spotting signs early can help people and their family be more prepared for any lifestyle changes that might ensue. Appearing on This Morning, Dr Chris shared four early indicators to spot.
Early signs of Alzheimer’s, according to Dr Chris:
- forgetting recent conversations
- forgetting people’s names
- misplacing items
- finding it difficult to find words
Dr Chris said these are the “prime” early symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
“And why would you want to know them?” he asked
“There’s no treatment – no cure for Alzheimer’s.
“They’re good to know early so you have time to plan, organise finances, a care home…”
Dr Chris continued: “Go discuss it with your GP. Say you think there’s a possibility it’s early Alzheimer’s.
“You’ll then be referred to a specialist.”
The exact cause of Alzheimer’s is not fully understood, but a number of things could increase your risk of developing the condition.
The NHS says these include:
- increasing age
- a family history of the condition
- untreated depression, although depression can also be one of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
- lifestyle factors and conditions associated with cardiovascular disease
The health body advises the first sign is usually minor memory problems.
It lists further symptoms as:
- confusion, disorientation and getting lost in familiar places
- difficulty planning or making decisions
- problems with speech and language
- problems moving around without assistance or performing self-care tasks
- personality changes, such as becoming aggressive, demanding and suspicious of others
- hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there) and delusions (believing things that are untrue)
- low mood or anxiety
The risk of the condition and other types of dementia increase with age.
An estimated one in 14 people over the age of 65 are affected, and one in every is people over the age of 80.
But around one in every 20 cases of Alzheimer’s disease affects people aged 40 to 65.
This is known as early or young-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
The NHS further advises: “There’s currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but medicines are available that can help relieve some of the symptoms.
“Various other types of support are also available to help people with Alzheimer’s live as independently as possible, such as making changes to your home environment so it’s easier to move around and remember daily tasks.
“Psychological treatments such as cognitive stimulation therapy may also be offered to help support your memory, problem solving skills and language ability.”
Some ways Alzheimer’s disease could be prevented are: There’s no known way to prevent the condition, but there are things you can do to reduce your risk:
- stopping smoking and cutting down on alcohol
- eating a healthy, balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight
- staying physically fit and mentally active
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