Alzheimer`s Disease


     It's normal to occasionally forget assignments, colleagues' names or a business
associate's telephone number, but generally remember them later. Those with a
dementia like Alzheimer's disease, may forget things more often, and not
remember them later. They may repeatedly ask the same question, not remembering
either the answer, or that they already asked the question. Difficulty

Performing Familiar Tasks Busy people can be distracted from time to time and
leave the carrots on the stove, only remembering to serve them at the end of the
meal. People with Alzheimer's disease could prepare a meal, forget to serve it,
and even forget they made it. Problems with Language Everyone has trouble
finding the right word sometimes, but can finish the sentence with another
appropriate word. A person with Alzheimer's disease may forget simple words, or
substitute inappropriate words, making their sentence incomprehensible.

Disorientation of Time and Place It's normal to forget the day of the week or
your destination for a moment. But people with Alzheimer's disease can become
lost on their own street or in a familiar shopping mall, not knowing where they
are, how they got there or how to get home. Poor or Decreased Judgment People
can become so immersed in an activity or telephone conversation they temporarily
forget the child they're watching. A person with Alzheimer's disease could
entirely forget the child under their care and leave the house to visit a
neighbor. Problems with Abstract Thinking People who normally balance their
checkbooks may be momentarily disconcerted when the task is more complicated
than usual, but will eventually figure out the solution. Someone with

Alzheimer's disease could forget completely what the numbers are and what needs
to be done with them. Misplacing Things Anyone can misplace their wallet or
keys, but eventually find them by reconstructing where they could have left
them. A person with Alzheimer's disease may put things down in inappropriate
places -- an iron in the freezer, or a wristwatch in the sugar bowl -- and not
be able to retrieve them. Changes in Mood or Behavior Everyone has a bad day
once in a while, or may become sad or moody from time to time. Someone with

Alzheimer's disease can exhibit rapid mood swings for no apparent reason: e.g.
from calm to tears to anger to calm in a few minutes. Changes in Personality

People's personalities ordinarily change somewhat at different ages, as
character traits strengthen or mellow. But a person with Alzheimer's disease can
change drastically, becoming extremely irritable, suspicious or fearful. Loss of

Initiative It's normal to tire of housework, business activities or social
obligations, but most people regain their initiative. The person with

Alzheimer's disease may become very passive and require cues and prompting to
get them involved in activities. These ten warning signs also may apply to
dementias other than Alzheimer's disease. People concerned about these warning
signs should see a physician for a complete examination. The "Is It

Alzheimer's? Ten Warning Signs" campaign has been funded through an
educational grant from Parke-Davis.