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module menu icon Alzheimer’s disease

For most people the earliest symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are memory lapses. In particular, they may have difficulty recalling recent events and learning new information. This is due to damage to the part of the brain that has a central role in day-to-day memory: the hippocampus.

People with AD may: 

  • Lose items around the house 
  • Struggle to find the right word in a conversation or forget names 
  • Struggle to follow a conversation or repeat themselves 
  • Forget recent conversations 
  • Get lost in a familiar place 
  • Forget appointments 
  • Have problems judging distance 
  • Have problems concentrating, planning or organising 
  • Become confused or lose track of their day. 

As AD progresses the above symptoms become more severe and the person will need more support from those who care for them. People with AD may also develop behaviours that are out of character, such as becoming increasingly agitated, calling out, sleep disturbances and becoming increasingly aggressive. These symptoms may require a different supportive approach to the memory loss, which will be covered in later modules.