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Progressive loss of memory and other thinking abilities, especially short-term memory, is the most common early symptom of this disease, although people with the disease may also have difficulty waking, become depressed, and have other emotional problems. Many people with Alzheimer’s disease eventually become dependent on others for help in performing even the most basic activities required for daily living such as bathing, getting around inside the home, and preparing meals.

Alzheimer's disease is a disorder marked by a gradual decline in brain function that gets worse with time. Some persons develop this condition when they are as young as 40 years of age. However, the disease is most common in persons over the age of 65, and it is estimated that approximately 10 percent of persons over 65 years of age may have Alzheimer's disease and that in persons over the age of 85, up to 50 percent may be affected.

Over time, changes that take place in the brain of a person with Alzheimer's disease can cause them to exhibit unusual physical and emotional behavior. For example, a person with Alzheimer's disease may show signs of agitation, aggression, or impulsive behavior, which can be difficult for family and friends to become accustomed to. It's important to remember that people with Alzheimer's disease may not be in control of their behavior, which may be frustrating for them, and will result in total dependency for even the simplest activities.


1. Loss of recent memory: The person may forget that he or she just had breakfast or has left something cooking on the stove, or may check and recheck that the bed has been made. However, recall of events from the distant past is often unaffected.

2. Loss of a sense of time and place: The person may become more and more confused about what day it is, or forget the route to well-known places. Eventually cannot follow directions, and get lost easily even by going to familiar places.

3. Language problems: The person cannot find the right word or name for a familiar person, place or object. This is not the same as taking longer to recall a word. The individual has difficulty understanding what is being said, and in turn expressing him/her self.

4. Problems with keeping track of things: A person with Alzheimer’s disease may find it difficult to follow a conversation or keep up with paying their bills.

5. Decline in activities of daily living: The person may exhibit an unexplained loss of activities of daily living. What once was an easy task for the person may now be difficult. He/she is unable to learn new things, and it’s difficult for them to make decisions.

6. Personality changes: These may be so slight that, at first, they are difficult to notice. Some people become more quiet and withdrawn. In other cases, they may become more and more restless.

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