Don’t Let Your Smartphone Mask Memory Problems: Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Unlocking the Power of Smartphones How to Spot Early Signs of Alzheimer's and Delay Diagnoses

Smartphones delay Alzheimer’s diagnoses; learn how to spot early signs.

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older couples hands Image by Rob and Julia Campbell / Stocksy

We live in a world where smartphones have become an extension of ourselves. They hold our memories, guide us through unknown streets, and even help us make important decisions. But have you ever thought about the downside of this incredible technology?

Before smartphones, we had to rely on our own minds to remember phone numbers, directions, and important information. We had to use our instincts and cognitive abilities to find our way home. But now, with the touch of a button, we can rely on our devices to do all the thinking for us. Sounds great, right? Well, not always.

In our technologically driven society, smartphones have inadvertently become accomplices in delaying the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Let me explain.

Imagine this: in the past, if an older person got lost while driving a familiar route or forgot someone’s name, it would raise concerns among family members. These memory lapses would prompt them to seek a medical evaluation. But now, with the help of technology, these signs of cognitive decline can easily be masked. And that is where the danger lies.

The number of older adults with undiagnosed dementia is startling. According to a 2021 national survey, over 91% of seniors with cognitive impairment typically seen in dementia had not received an official diagnosis[^1^]. This means that a significant majority of seniors with cognitive problems are unaware of their condition.

Why is this alarming? Well, early interventions are crucial in preventing and delaying the progression of conditions like Alzheimer’s[^2^]. The sooner a diagnosis is made, the better the outcome. But if the warning signs are masked by smartphones and other devices, we risk missing the opportunity for early intervention.

So, how can you recognize the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease amidst all this technological interference? Let’s take a closer look:

Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease:

  1. Having memory problems: Memory loss is the hallmark symptom of early Alzheimer’s disease. Forgetting loved ones’ names, repeating questions, and misplacing things are all red flags.

  2. Having trouble identifying smells: Difficulty in recognizing common scents like gasoline or lemon can be a sign that Alzheimer’s processes have begun[^3^].

  3. Falling down: Frequent falls can indicate an increased risk of early-onset Alzheimer’s, which develops before the age of 65[^4^].

  4. A lack of good judgment: Uncharacteristic impulsive actions, excessive spending, or breaking the law can be early indicators of dementia[^5^].

  5. Having gum disease: Surprisingly, gum disease has been linked to an increased risk of dementia[^6^].

  6. Difficulty making plans or problem-solving: Struggling with making future plans or solving everyday problems can be a warning sign of Alzheimer’s.

  7. Social isolation: Withdrawing from social activities can be an early sign of Alzheimer’s[^7^].

  8. Having trouble keeping track of time: Losing track of time can be easily masked by smartphone notifications and reminders.

  9. Getting lost: Trouble with directions or getting lost in familiar areas can be a cause for concern[^7^].

  10. Having mental health disorders: Several mental health conditions, such as depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and schizophrenia, have been associated with an increased risk of dementia[^8^][^9^].

Phew! That’s quite a list, isn’t it? But fear not! Awareness is the first step toward taking action. And in our technology-driven world, there are solutions available, such as functional brain imaging, to evaluate and identify changes in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s up to nine years before symptoms appear[^10^].

The takeaway is clear: don’t let your smartphone or other devices mask memory problems in yourself or your loved ones. Be vigilant and recognize the early warning signs. Remember, early interventions are key to improving outcomes. So, stay connected with reality, not just your gadgets, and take action today!

Now, over to you. Have you ever experienced memory problems that were overlooked due to the convenience of technology? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments below!

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