Spotting the signs of Alzheimer’s disease in women over 60

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Alzheimer’s disease, a common form of dementia, affects millions worldwide. While it can impact anyone, studies show that women over 60 are particularly susceptible.

Understanding the signs and symptoms specific to this group can lead to earlier diagnosis and better management of the condition.

This review discusses the common signs of Alzheimer’s disease in older women, supported by research and insights into why these symptoms may present differently based on gender.

Alzheimer’s disease involves the gradual decline of cognitive function, affecting memory, thinking skills, and the ability to perform everyday activities. Research indicates that two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women.

Some studies suggest that this disparity isn’t just because women generally live longer than men; there are also differences in how the disease progresses and affects women.

The early signs of Alzheimer’s in women over 60 can sometimes be subtle and often mistaken for normal aging. However, distinguishing these from typical age-related changes is crucial for early intervention. Here are key symptoms to watch for:

Memory Loss That Disrupts Daily Life: This is often one of the first and most noticeable signs.

While forgetting names or appointments can be a normal part of aging, consistently forgetting recently learned information, important dates or events, or asking for the same information over and over may indicate the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Challenges in Planning or Solving Problems: Women with early Alzheimer’s might experience difficulties with tasks that require analytical skills, like following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills.

They may struggle with concentration and take much longer to do things than they did before.

Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks: Daily tasks that were once performed easily, such as driving to a familiar location, organizing a grocery list, or remembering the rules of a favorite game, can become challenging.

Confusion with Time or Place: People with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons, and the passage of time. They may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately or may forget where they are or how they got there.

Trouble Understanding Visual Images and Spatial Relationships: Vision problems can be a sign of Alzheimer’s. This may lead to difficulty with balance or trouble reading. They may also have problems judging distance and determining color or contrast, which may cause issues with driving.

New Problems with Words in Speaking or Writing: Women with Alzheimer’s may struggle with vocabulary, have problems finding the right word, or stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue. They may repeat themselves and may struggle to follow or join a conversation.

Misplacing Things and Losing the Ability to Retrace Steps: A person 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. In some cases, they may accuse others of stealing, especially as the disease progresses.

Decreased or Poor Judgment: This may manifest as poor judgment in dealing with money or paying less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean.

Withdrawal from Work or Social Activities: A woman suffering from Alzheimer’s may start to withdraw from hobbies, social activities, work projects, or sports.

They may have trouble keeping up with a favorite sports team or remembering how to complete a favorite hobby. They might also avoid being social because of the changes they have experienced.

Changes in Mood and Personality: The mood and personalities of people with Alzheimer’s can change. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful, or anxious.

They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends, or in places where they are out of their comfort zone.

Recognizing these signs early and seeking a professional diagnosis can make a significant difference in the management of Alzheimer’s disease.

While currently there is no cure, early diagnosis can lead to treatment options that may help lessen symptoms and improve the quality of life.

If you care about Alzheimer’s, please read studies about Vitamin D deficiency linked to Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia, and Oral cannabis extract may help reduce Alzheimer’s symptoms.

For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about Vitamin B9 deficiency linked to higher dementia risk, and results showing flavonoid-rich foods could improve survival in Parkinson’s disease.

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