At Healthy Partners Primary Care of Ft. Lauderdale, we understand how important it is to help patients and their families recognize the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. While there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, early detection and treatment can help you or your loved one maintain a greater quality of life. Learn more about signs and stages of the disease and contact your primary care physician as early as possible.
What Is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disease that causes memory loss and impaired mental functions. It’s the most common cause of dementia, a general term referring to signs and symptoms affecting memory, thinking and social abilities. In fact, Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of all dementia cases. Most people who suffer from this degenerative disease are 65 and older but even those in their 40s or 50s can be diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging. It is actually an abnormal state in which brain plaques and neurofibrillary tangles build up and clog nerve cells.
Your Healthy Partners Primary Care physician can determine whether any signs or symptoms of dementia are due to Alzheimer’s disease. While the causes of Alzheimer’s aren’t fully understood, scientists and medical experts believe genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors play an integral role in the degeneration of brain cells over time. Mild memory loss and forgetfulness are two common symptoms in the early stages but there are signs and symptoms that do appear as the disease progresses.
Know the Warning Signs
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life
- Thinking and difficulties in concentration
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks
- Confusion with time or place
- Making poor judgements
- Difficulty with words in speaking or writing
- Misplacing things or getting lost
- Withdrawal from work or social activities
- Changes in behavior and personality
Having a strong network of support is the first step in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. It’s important to schedule an appointment as soon as possible for yourself or a loved one if you have concerns about possible signs and symptoms of dementia. There are current Alzheimer’s medications that can help treat cognitive symptoms in addition to lifestyle and home remedies. While survival rates do vary, early detection is your best offense against this difficult disease.