How can I diagnose the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease? What are the most striking symptoms of the disorder? How can we help to diagnose the symptoms faster?
Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease is something only a medical professional can do. However, the symptoms are often first observed by friends and family, and here is what the physician will look for:
Significant memory problems in immediate recall, short-term, or long-term memory.
Significant thinking deficits in at least one of four areas: expressing or comprehending language; identifying familiar objects through the senses; poor coordination, gait, or muscle function; and the executive functions of planning, ordering, and making judgments.
Decline severe enough to interfere with relationships and/or work performance.
Symptoms that appear gradually and become steadily worse over time.
source: helpguide.org, which has a questionnaire and more information on symptoms
Alzheimer's disease is categorized into 5 stages : preclinical Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairment, mild dementia due to Alzheimer's, moderate dementia due to Alzheimer's and severe dementia due to Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's is usually not diagnosed until the third or fourth stage, when it can be differentiated from mild cognitive impairment that is common in old age.
To aid with diagnosis, it is very helpful if friends/family/caregivers document the type and frequency of symptoms, so the severity and progression can be seen. occasionally forgetting where your keys are is normal - suddenly forgetting that you have been putting your keys next to the door for the last twenty years can be a symptom of Alzheimer's disease.