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understand what the first signs of Alzheimer's are before memory loss

February is the month dedicated to raising awareness about Alzheimer's, a disease that affects millions of people around the world. Although memory loss is the condition's best-known symptom, the underlying neurodegenerative processes can begin up to two decades earlier, manifesting in subtle and often overlooked ways. It is essential to recognize these early signs, as this can allow for more effective interventions and diagnosis at an early stage, thus increasing the chances of slowing the progression of the disease and improving patients' quality of life.

Early signs of Alzheimer's

From the age of 65 onwards, the risk of developing the disease doubles every five years, according to geriatrician Roni Chain Mukamal. He highlights the importance of being aware of changes in behavior, as the first signs of Alzheimer's can manifest themselves in different ways and are not always related to memory loss.

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A study carried out by the University of California revealed that the excessive use of swear words, especially in inappropriate situations, can be an early sign of the disease. The researchers found that 18% of people with Alzheimer's tended to use inappropriate words when asked to name words that began with certain letters of the alphabet, while none of the healthy participants exhibited this behavior.

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Roni Chain Mukamal says that the risk of developing the disease increases as the population ages (Photo: reproduction/Freepik)

Research conducted by universities in the UK has highlighted the difficulty people with Alzheimer's face when choosing appropriate clothing. This difficulty can manifest itself in the inappropriate choice of clothes for the climate or in the combination of pieces. In addition, the propensity to give money to strangers, deterioration in the ability to drive safely and the tendency to get lost in familiar places have also been identified as early signs of the disease.

Impact on everyday life

Alzheimer's disease not only affects memory, but also interferes with patients' motor, cognitive and social skills, significantly impacting their daily lives. Other early signs include difficulty finding the right words during a conversation and the tendency to replace correct words with generic terms like “that.” Additionally, Alzheimer's patients may experience a decrease in social filters, resulting in inappropriate behavior and rude speech.

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Featured Photo: elderly woman facing Alzheimer's disease (Reproduction/Freepik)

understand what the first signs of Alzheimer's are before memory loss

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