A new study revealed that sudden personality changes could be interpreted as signs of Alzheimer’s disease. It seems that a short temperament, aggression, irritability, and unrealistic beliefs are all early signs of alzheimers.
What is Alzheimer?
Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia that affects the patient’s memory, behavior, and thinking.
The disease starts out slowly, with the person forgetting where he or she put the car keys, or why the refrigerator door is opened. Slowly, the brain surface starts to get smoother and smoother, the areas where the brain wrinkles disappear being affected, the person losing cognitive and sometimes motor function.
Until recently, the most common Alzheimer’s symptoms were:
- memory loss
- challenges in solving common problems
- difficulty in completing familiar tasks at work or at home
- confusion of different places
- not distinguishing the time of day
- trouble understanding special relationships and visual images
- new problems in speaking or writing
- losing the ability to retrace steps
- misplacing things
- poor or decreased judgment
- withdrawal from social activities or from work
- changes in personality and mood
What Does the New Study Say?
According to Dr. Zahinoor Ismail from Calgary University in Canada declared that:
“Out-of-character behavior can be the first sign of something going wrong in the brain.”
It seems that neuropsychiatric symptoms may represent the first signs of Alzheimer’s. Dr. Ismail found five significant behavioral changes that are visible signs of Alzheimer’s.
In the case of elderly patients, reduced motivation can be translated into a lack of interest in the wellbeing of their children or grandchildren.
Another sign may be the sudden loss of care for lifelong hobbies.
Emotional symptoms are irritability, anxiety, or depression. These are the hardest to pinpoint because they can also be the signs of loneliness characteristic to old age.
Previous studies showed that the elderly are predisposed to depression due to a secondary “empty nest syndrome” that is triggered when the grandchildren grow up and start living adult lives.
In this category, we find the lack of empathy or the loss of social skills. For example, if an elderly woman that was known for her social grace starts saying or doing unnatural things in public, the behavior can be the warning sign of the installation of Alzheimer’s.
Problems with Controlling Impulse
Gambling, aggressiveness, obsessiveness, or agitation are all signs that the patient has trouble controlling his or her impulses. This could mean that dementia started to affect the areas of the brain that usually keeps this urges under control.
Finally, the biggest and most alarming Alzheimer’s signs are perception issues. The most common are delusions and hallucinations. In the early stages of the disease, they might come off as lies. For example, the patient might trip on a rug, and when he or she recalls the accident, the rug is replaced by a chair. Or the trip might turn into a fall.
Image source: Wikipedia