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Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

 |  General

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

You may wonder what the difference is between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Dementia is a term for a group of symptoms. These symptoms include difficulties with memory, language and problem-solving.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association points out that these changes include the buildup of abnormal proteins in the brain. Changes also include the breakdown of nerve cells. It’s believed nearly 6 million adults suffer from Alzheimer’s.

Some of the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease include:

Memory loss that disrupts daily life. Some signs include forgetting recently learned information or important dates and events. Asking the same questions over and over also is a sign. And, an increased need to rely on family members or on memory aids like reminder notes could indicate a problem.

Difficulty solving problems. This may include changes in one’s ability to focus and follow a plan. Some examples include trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. Another sign includes taking much longer to complete tasks than before.

Confusion with time or place. People living with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there.

Difficulty with writing or speaking. Trouble following or joining a conversation may be a sign of Alzheimer’s. Sometimes people may stop in the middle of a conversation with no idea how to continue. Other times, they may struggle to find a word for a familiar object.

Misplacing objects. A person living with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. This isn’t the same thing as occasionally being unable to find your keys.

If any of these symptoms develop about six months after you’ve had COVID-19, make sure you tell your doctor when you were sick. Recent studies found that COVID-19 may be linked to what’s known as mild cognitive impairment (such as the symptoms above).

If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to be evaluated by a doctor. You can also click here to make an appointment online. If you are experiencing a crisis, please call 911 immediately.