It can hit some people very quickly, whereas others see a slow withdrawal. It really can be hard to tell, because people often lose memory anyway, especially as they get older. Confusion sets in, and then sometimes they even forget who they are.
Alzheimer's disease causes inflammation in the neurons in the brain and when the inflammatory substances build up over the years, the effects of Alzheimer's are seen. Short term memory loss is common, as is confusion, the inability to remember words or to retrieve them and often losing things around the home. After awhile, the symptoms begin to affect day to day functioning. A person may be unable to find their home or to remember why they went someplace. Their personality may change. It is very important to get medication for this disease early on to prevent the inflammation in the first place and to slow the disease's progression.
Early in this disease, it is not always so easy to tell that a person is sick. A person with the disease will start to have problems remembering things and with organizing their thoughts. However, they may not recognize what is happening to them and people around them may not notice either -- it might not be that obvious.
A person from the Mayo Clinic who diagnoses Alzheimer's says that the following are warning signs: (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/alzheimers/AZ00017)
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life
- Challenges in planning or solving problems
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
- Confusion with time or place
- Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
- New problems with words in speaking or writing
- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
- Decreased or poor judgment
- Withdrawal from work or social activities
- Changes in mood and personality
Usually, the symptoms of the person with Alzheimer's in the initial phase are:
- the person gets confused on the orientation and he/she could be easily lost
- the person loses the ability to initiate certain activities
- the person is avingoid new and unfamiliar situations
- the person has delayed reactions and the capacity of memorizing is
- has difficulty in handling money and paying bills
- the person is making wrong decisions
- can have mood disorders and become depressed, irritable or restless.
These symptoms are often obvious when a person is in a new place or a new, unfamiliar situation.