ABOUT ALZHEIMER'S
How AGI can Help
10 Warning Signs
Symptoms and Diagnosis
The Importance of Early Diagnosis
After Diagnosis: Breaking the Myths
Types of Dementia
Common Terms
 

ABOUT ALZHEIMER'S> 

Symptoms and Diagnosis

 

The Most Common Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

 
  1. Difficulty storing new memories: the diagnosed person will often forget things that just happened

  2.  Difficulty retrieving old memories: recent memories are harder to retrieve than old ones since Alzheimer’s affects your memories backwards

  3. Impairments to working memory: the kind of remembering that has to take place in order to stay on track in a task. This makes it difficult to do things that are complex, even things that were once routine or easy.

  4. Problems verbally expressing thoughts: this is called aphasia

  5. Receptive language impairments: difficulty understanding what someone else is saying

  6. Poor judgment: difficulty weighing risks and benefits to make a sound decision

  7. Concrete thinking: having trouble imagining a state that you are not experiencing right now

  8. Difficulty coping with emotions: leading to mood swings and personality changes

  9. Difficulty concentrating

  10. Confusion and disorientation: leads to behaviour that may appear to be bizarre or paranoid

  11. Lack of insight into the extent of the problem: this is a byproduct of the memory loss and not “denial” on the part of the person with Alzheimer’s.


 

Treatment

 

The myth of “nothing can be done”


When we hear the words “degenerative” and “incurable,” we assume that the situation is hopeless, that nothing can be done for the person experiencing Alzheimer’s symptoms. This is a false assumption. There are medicines that can, in many cases, slow the progression of the disease. Other medicines can treat symptoms like anxiety, depression, hallucinations and delusions. The right medical treatment for each diagnosed individual is best determined by a doctor who specializes in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

In Montreal, these specialists can be accessed through a referral to a memory clinic, geriatric assessment clinic, the McGill University Centre for Studies in Aging (at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute), or the Montreal Neurological Institute.