Initial brain changes associated with AD may occur 20 or more years before the early signs and symptoms become evident.28-30 Click here to take the Alzheimer’s Association’s Brain Tour at alz.org.™31 An excellent video illustrating the AD associated changes in the brain is available at: https://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/alzheimers-disease-video.32 There are 10 early signs and symptoms of AD (Figure 1).33
These signs and symptoms are diverse. In most circumstances, the onset of AD symptoms is subtle and progresses gradually as neurons malfunction and die. Providers may initially notice a person having difficulty with short-term memory. This is because neuron malfunction and death normally begins in parts of the brain involved in processing new memories.1,2 As the disease progresses, providers will observe the “continuum” of AD as symptoms progress from mild to moderate and eventually severe.1
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