In the early stages of Alzheimer's, symptoms may include difficulty remembering recent events, activities, or the names of familiar people or things. As the disease progresses, symptoms become more noticeable and serious enough to cause people with the disease or their family members to seek medical help. In later stages of the disease, signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's can include becoming anxious or aggressive or wandering away from home.
Alzheimer's disease begins slowly. In the early stages of the disease, Alzheimer's symptoms may include mild forgetfulness, which can be confused with age-related memory change. People with early symptoms of Alzheimer's may have trouble remembering recent events, activities, or the names of familiar people or things. People with the disease may also not be able to solve simple math problems. While such difficulties may be bothersome, they are usually not serious enough to cause alarm.
It is important to note that most people with mild forgetfulness do not have Alzheimer's disease.
(Click Early Signs of Alzheimer's Disease for more information about the early symptoms of Alzheimer's.)
As the disease progresses, Alzheimer's symptoms become more noticeable and serious enough to cause people or their family members to seek medical help.
These symptoms can include:
- Forgetfulness that begins to interfere with daily activities. People in the middle stages of Alzheimer's disease may forget how to do simple tasks like brushing their teeth or combing their hair.
- No longer thinking clearly. People with symptoms of Alzheimer's can fail to recognize familiar people and places.
- Problems speaking, understanding, reading, or writing.