Signs & Symptoms of Alzheimer’s & Other Dementias

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,078
    Laurie Owen of Home Instead Senior Care discusses the signs and symptoms you should look for in a loved one who might have Alzheimer’s or some other type of dementia.

    Laurie Owen: Hi! I'm Laurie Owen from Home Instead Senior Care. In this video, myself and Dr. William Burke from the University of Nebraska Medical Center will talk about the science and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.

    Alzheimer's disease or other dementias can lead to nerve cell death and tissue loss in the brain. Under a microscope abnormal clusters of protein fragments called plaques can be seen built up between the nerve cells along with tangles which are dead and dying nerve cells.

    Overtime, the brain shrinks dramatically affecting nearly all of its functions and causing a variety of symptoms to appear.

    Dr. William J. Burke: A person who is early in Alzheimer's disease or other dementia may only show a few symptoms. But with the passage of time, more symptoms typically appear and become more severe.

    According to the U.

    S. Alzheimer's Association, the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease are memory loss that disrupts daily life, difficulty completing familiar tasks, challenges with planning and problem solving, confusion with time and place, trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships, misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps, decreased or poor judgment, withdrawal from work or social activities, changes in mood or personality, problems with speaking and writing.

    The difficulty with speaking is called aphasia. In Alzheimer's and other dementias, the most typical early type of aphasia is difficulty with word finding. This means the individual may have trouble coming up with the names of a person or an object.

    It is important to remember that every person with Alzheimer's disease or other dementia is different. All the various symptoms are not necessarily present simultaneously in all people with the disease.

    Laurie Owen: When someone is showing early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease or other dementia, it is important that they see a healthcare professional as soon as possible to complete a set of tests and evaluations.