Have you recently noticed that it’s hard to retain new information or, perhaps, you’re having trouble with names or dates?
Forgetting some things from time to time is absolutely normal, but memory loss that disrupts your daily life may be a sign of Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s disease occurs when the brain undergoes complex changes which cause a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills.
Scientists have discovered that brain damage starts a decade or more before a person begins experiencing the first symptoms. This period of Alzheimer`s is called the preclinical stage, where they may be no symptoms, but irreversible changes are taking place in the brain. In total, there are 4 stages of Alzheimer`s progression: preclinical, mild (sometimes called early-stage), moderate, and severe (sometimes called late-stage).
When do the first signs usually show? This depends on the variety of the disease. Most people tend to have the late-onset variety; in this case, symptoms usually show in their mid-60s. However, with other varieties, the age might be as young as 40.
Are You at Risk?
According to the Alzheimer`s Association, the risk of the disease increases with age, affecting approximately 1 in 14 people over the age of 65 and 1 in every 6 people over the age of 80.
Unfortunately, around 1 in every 20 people under the age of 65 are diagnosed with early- or young-onset Alzheimer’s disease.