Are There Any Physical Signs Of Alzheimer’s?
Research suggests that the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease among older people may indeed be physical rather than subtle changes in cognition. For example, during the onset of their illness, individuals with Alzheimer’s will begin having trouble completing simple everyday tasks that they would otherwise accomplish without much conscious effort.
Poor handgrip, slow gait, and poor balance are the most common physical signs in people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Even though the exact cause of Alzheimer’s is unknown, studies show that a buildup of harmful proteins in the brain known as amyloid could be the culprit.
Physical Symptoms Common in Early Stage Alzheimer’s
The harmful proteins, or amyloid, form large tangles and plaques that damage the area of the brain that forms memories. It then goes on to kill healthy cells. Once this happens, physical activities such as walking, eating, going to the bathroom, and even talking become gradually challenging. Additional physical signs of Alzheimer’s include but are not limited to:
- Weak muscles, loss of balance and coordination.
- Fatigue, difficulty standing or sitting up in a chair.
- Issues with bladder or bowel control.
- Uncontrollable twitching and seizures.
- Repetitive behavior and decreased fine motor skills.
- Increase in daytime napping and insomnia.
- Inability to take care of personal hygiene.
Many of the physical symptoms that are often associated with Alzheimer’s are often also associated with age-related issues. If an adult or elderly person is exhibiting these physical difficulties it is not necessarily a sign of Alzheimer’s. If you’ve noticed any of these changes or symptoms it’s important to visit a physician and avoid jumping to any conclusions.