Twenty years ago, few Americans had even heard of Alzheimer's disease.Â However, this is quickly becoming the most devastating illness we face as we age.Â Â At this time, there is no known cure andÂ no one really knows what causes Alzheimer's.Â ItÂ is progressive.Â It is insidious.Â Any resemblance of the person who has it is slowly erased.Â Former First Lady Nancy Reagan called Alzheimer's "the long goodbye".Â She watched her husband, former President Ronald Reagan quietly slip away.Â But it took ten long years as he slowly disappeared.
But there are a few glimpses of hope.Â The sooner a person is diagnosed the sooner they can be treated.Â Although there is no cure, several medications have been approved which help slow down the progression of Alzheimer's in many patients.Â There are ten warning signs of Alzheimer's that you should know:
1. Memory loss.
One of the most common early signs of dementia is forgetting recently learned information.Â A person begins to forget more often and is unable to recall information later.Â As the disease progresses, they may have problems recognizing family and close friends.
What's normal?Â It's normal to forget names and appointments occasionally.
2. Difficulty performing familiar tasks
People with dementia often find it hard to plan or complete everyday tasks.Â Individuals may lose track of the steps to prepare a meal, place a telephone call or play a game.
What's normal?Â Occasionally forgetting why you came into a room or what you planned to say is normal.
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