We often think of short term memory problems as one of the main signs of early Alzheimer's disease. For example, if your wife forgets that her brother stopped by earlier today even though he was there for two hours, you might rightly be concerned about Alzheimer's or another type of dementia.
Another area, however, that often shows some impairment in the early stages of Alzheimer's is the area of judgment. Poor judgment can be demonstrated in several areas, one of which is social interaction. For example, if someone is sharing a very sad story with your wife, you might see her laugh, make a joke or be rude in response- none of which would be her typical reaction.
If your loved one is demonstrating uncharacteristic poor judgment, you may want to review the other symptoms of Alzheimer's and consider bringing her to a physician for a check-up. There are some causes of dementia that are reversible such as vitamin B12 deficiency or normal pressure hydrocephalus, and usually the sooner these are caught, the better the outcome. If the physician's assessment does indicate Alzheimer's, medications are typically most effective in the early stages , so early diagnosis is a beneficial.
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