What is commonly the first symptom of Alzheimer's?

The first symptom of Alzheimer's disease is often memory loss, particularly difficulty remembering newly learned information. This may manifest as forgetfulness about recent events, names of people, or the location of objects. While mild memory loss is a normal part of aging, the memory loss associated with Alzheimer's is more severe and tends to progressively worsen over time.

Other early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease may include:

1. **Difficulty with Problem-Solving or Planning:** Individuals may experience challenges in solving problems, making plans, or following through with tasks that involve multiple steps.

2. **Confusion with Time or Place:** People with Alzheimer's may lose track of dates, seasons, or the passage of time. They may also become disoriented and forget where they are or how they got there.

3. **Misplacing Items:** Individuals may put things in unusual places and struggle to retrace their steps to find them. This is different from normal forgetfulness, where a person may misplace items but can recall where they put them.

4. **Changes in Vision and Spatial Relationships:** Alzheimer's can affect visual perception, making it difficult for individuals to judge distance or differentiate colors and contrast.

5. **Difficulty with Speech and Writing:** Individuals may have trouble finding the right words, following or joining in a conversation, or may stop in the middle of a sentence and have trouble continuing.

It's important to note that the progression of Alzheimer's disease can vary among individuals, and not everyone will experience the same symptoms or in the same order. Additionally, some individuals may not recognize or acknowledge their own symptoms, and family members or caregivers may be the first to notice changes in behavior and cognition.

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms suggestive of Alzheimer's disease, it's crucial to seek medical evaluation and diagnosis. Early detection allows for better management of symptoms, appropriate medical care, and the opportunity to plan for the future. A healthcare professional, typically a neurologist or geriatrician, can conduct a thorough assessment, including cognitive tests and imaging studies, to determine the cause of the symptoms.