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How do you differentiate memory loss from Alzheimer's?

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Quick Answer

People can differentiate memory loss from Alzheimer’s disease by looking at the scope and scale of memory loss issues. Memory loss is common in people as they age, but Alzheimer’s disease is an extreme form and has several warning signs, the Alzheimer’s Association says.

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Full Answer

Many people who grow older tend to have minor memory loss problems. Forgetting the location of keys, needing assistance with an everyday task, or becoming confused about the time are typical signs of normal memory loss. Alzheimer’s disease encompasses all of these symptoms, but it tends to be more severe. For example, someone with early Alzheimer’s consistently may forget recent events or experience personality changes, the Alzheimer’s Association says.

An older individual who forgets what day it is but eventually remembers it has experienced a typical age-related issue. Those with Alzheimer’s might forget what season it is, to the point that it affects their daily lives. Patients with Alzheimer’s also generally have vision problems associated with the disease, claims the Alzheimer’s Association. Minor memory problems should not be a worry, but consistent and alarming symptoms may indicate Alzheimer’s.

Those who suspect Alzheimer’s in an elderly person should see a doctor, the Alzheimer’s Association recommends. Early detection of the disease may help delay its onset and progression.

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