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Do You Have Alzheimer's? Experts Share the Signs

Know the signs of Alzheimer's Disease 

Nearly 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's Disease according to the Center for Disease and Prevention Control—a condition that affects the brain that can slowly destroy memory and thinking. It can become so severe that it disrupts daily routine and life. There are several signs of Alzheimer's Disease to watch out for and Eat This, Not That! Health talked to Dr. Jagdish Khubchandani, MBBS, Ph.D. Professor of Public Health New Mexico State University what they are and other important information to know about Alzheimer's Disease. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Risk Factors

man in red shirt pouring pills from prescription pill bottle

Dr. Khubchandani says, "The research on Alzheimer's Disease will continue and has been evolving. Certain modifiable risk factors that have gained a lot of attention recently are drugs to treat high cholesterol such as statins, some blood pressure reducing medications, certain NSAIDs, vitamins C/E/ subtypes of B, and coffee may have protective effects in reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease. In addition, having multiple chronic diseases and unhealthy lifestyle behaviors like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, smoking are modifiable factors that could increase the risk of Alzheimer's Disease."


Memory Loss

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"While memory loss (especially, short-term) is a prominent symptom for Alzheimer's Disease, it also occurs with age," Dr. Khubchandani explains. "For example, we all forget dates or appointments, but recall later or understand well that we forgot this (could be due to being busy, stressed, or just with age). In AD, a person may forget dates and appointments, may not recall at all, and completely lose track of date, time, season. This can happen in Alzheimer's Disease patients despite recently hearing or talking about a certain date or event, repeatedly asking about the dates, or despite an increasing reliance on memory aids (e.g. notes, calendar invites, phone reminders)."

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Repeated Decision Making Issues

Woiman sitting at the table worrying about the money.

According to Dr. Khubchandani, "Problems with judgment, decision making, and managing key activities of life (e.g. finances). We all make poor decisions and suffer late penalties for bills in life, but a repeated pattern may suggest Alzheimer's Disease."

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An old man touches his head. Headache. Alzheimer's disease

Dr. Khubchandani says, "Visual and spatial challenges, confusion with passing time and changing spaces or a location, and lack of orientation are reliable and serious symptoms as they can lead to distracting driving or accidents, lack of balance, trouble reading, getting lost in public places, or losing items and forgetting what was lost and where and how."

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Sad mature woman looking out of window.

"Alzheimer's Disease patients may suffer isolation as well due to the symptoms above and also, because they have trouble with words and speaking, following or joining a conversation, and reduced vocabulary in writing and speaking, Dr. Khubchandani states. "It can happen with age or to all of us when we are stressed, confused, not sure if our speech can offend others, overthinking or being overwhelmed, or under the influence of medications or alcohol and drugs. However, a continued pattern of this problem every day can be a symptom of Alzheimer's Disease."

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Other Symptoms

selective focus of depressed african american man sitting with bowed head

Dr. Khubchandani says, "Withdrawal, social isolation, behaviors, mood, and personality changes are other symptoms to look for. This could be due to many of the above mentioned issues where Alzheimer's Disease patients cannot engage much or mental health issues (e.g. depression) that often occur along with Alzheimer's Disease and aging." And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more about Heather