Alzheimer's disease has been a frequent topic of discussion in this space over the last three years--prompting occasional questions from readers.
A few days ago, a regular reader called to inquire about the early indicators of Alzheimer's. She is concerned that some forgetfulness she is experiencing might mean there is trouble ahead. After misplacing her keys, she had endured a day of worry until she found them. About the same time, she found herself in the kitchen unable to remember why she had gone there.
There is a world of difference between occasional forgetfulness and Alzheimer's disease. All of us are sometimes forgetful, and we are a little bit more so as time goes on. No need to be concerned about that.
The time to wonder if you, or someone you know, is in the early stages of Alzheimer's is when more serious difficulties occur, such as needing help to perform routine daily tasks, having trouble recalling recent events, losing the ability to converse, getting lost while walking or driving in what should be familiar territory, being unable to operate common appliances, or behaving inappropriately. Then it is time for a visit with a Doctor.
A recent email inquired as to the difference between Alzheimer's and dementia. And the answer here is that Alzheimer's is a form of dementia--the most common form.