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Understanding Alzheimer's Disease -- Symptoms

How Do the Symptoms of Alzheimer's Differ From Normal Aging?

It's common for people to develop minor memory glitches as they age. The fact that someone temporarily forgets a name or why they walked into the kitchen doesn't mean they have Alzheimer's. With aging, those types of problems are usually temporary or insignificant. But with Alzheimer's, the forgotten name or lost term may never come back.

It's rare, though, for Alzheimer's to cause sudden deterioration.

What Are the Benefits of Recognizing Alzheimer's Disease Early?

Noticing symptoms early and getting diagnosed early can go a long way toward helping maintain and prolong a person's quality of life.

Here are some of the benefits of an early diagnosis:

Finding the right care. Early diagnosis gives people more time to come to terms with the disease and to find the care and help they need. This makes it easier to cope with the effects of Alzheimer's and develop the means to live life to its fullest.

Learning about clinical trials. People with Alzheimer's will have more opportunity to learn about clinical trials that may slow the progression of the disease. That will give them more opportunity to enjoy life and time with loved ones.

Coordinating with doctors. An early diagnosis makes it easier to coordinate with all health care providers to make sure they are aware of what effect Alzheimer's has and will have on a person's overall health care needs.

Making lifestyle changes. People with Alzheimer's can learn how medications and healthy lifestyle habits -- diet, exercise, and social involvement -- can help their health.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on March 29, 2014

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