Forgetfulness is not the only symptom! These behavioral changes point to Alzheimer’s

Memory loss and confusion Alzheimer the most well-known symptoms of the disease. However, other than these, many important symptoms can manifest themselves with the disease. Before the most devastating symptoms begin, patients may experience changes in their sense of humor, and an individual known for being mindful of their clothing may start walking around in dirty clothes.

Scientists recently uncovered another new sign of Alzheimer’s: excessive generosity.

Researchers from the University of Southern California found that older people who are more willing to give money to someone they don’t know have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s. The study reported that generosity, which is not actually a bad behavior, may be associated with a serious medical condition and may be considered a warning sign by those caring for older people.

University of Southern California neuropsychology professor Dr. Duke Han said in a statement, “Having trouble managing money dementia “It’s thought to be one of the early signs of Alzheimer’s and Alzheimer’s disease, and this research supports that view.”

For the study, 67 people around the age of 70 were examined. Each participant was given $10. Each of the participants was matched with a person they had never met before in a laboratory setting. Participants also underwent neurological testing to assess their current cognitive status and potential risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

As a result of these tests, it was found that those who were willing to give more money to someone they had never met before had generally worse cognitive status and a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s affects millions of people around the world each year, and it is feared that cases will increase as the population ages in the coming years. There are 47 million Alzheimer’s patients in the world. This number is expected to reach 76 million in 2030 and 135.5 million in 2050. In Turkey, 600 thousand families are struggling with this disease.

Of course, the symptoms are not limited to a few differences such as memory loss, generosity. Here are some of the unusual signs that your loved one may have Alzheimer’s disease.

NOW Laughing at Things They Didn’t Laugh Before

University of London researchers found that afflicted people were more likely to have fun with satirical or absurd comedy shows than healthy adults of the same age.

Friends and relatives of 48 people with Alzheimer’s and dementia were given questionnaires about the kinds of comedy the patients enjoyed. In addition, family members were asked if they had noticed any unusual sense of humor in a relative who had been ill in the past 15 years or more.

The study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease in 2015, found that Alzheimer’s patients began preferring absurd jokes about nine years before the onset of typical dementia symptoms. It has even been seen that these people laugh at events that they would not find funny before.

More research is needed to determine the exact cause of the changes in sense of humor, but most of the behavioral changes after developing Alzheimer’s are due to shrinkage in the frontal lobe of the brain, the researchers said.


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Alzheimer’s patients may find it difficult to choose clothes that match with each other and to wear clothes suitable for weather conditions if they do not get help. Within the scope of the research published in Sociology of Health and Illness in 2018, 32 people were examined. In addition, 57 patients’ relatives were interviewed to get their opinions on how patients dressed.

Melissa, whose views were included in the research, talked about the devastation she experienced after her Alzheimer’s father started to change his clothes:

“I never saw my father as scruffy, never. When I came home one day, he was sitting in those awful clothes. It really hurt me because I’m not used to it.”

Before my wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she was one of the respected figures of the place where we lived. During the youth of my wife, who is now 74 years old, very few people could go to school, let alone finish high school. My wife was a high school graduate and worked as a machine painter. Due to his job, he always wore suits and almost never wore them again. However, in the last 10 years, it has started to behave in the opposite way. I and the children were saying, ‘He is old now, what does he have to do with clothes?’ Then when we started seeing other symptoms, we took him to the doctor and the truth came out. She had Alzheimer’s and had given up on what she cared about most, clothing. It no longer allows us to take off even a torn shirt, and it does not bother to wear even the dirtiest clothes.

K.P., 67


Studies show that at the point where Alzheimer’s begins to affect patients’ motor skills and thought processes, their driving skills can deteriorate significantly.

The disease slows people down, makes them worse at parking, and eventually forces them to stop driving. Having to give up driving, which is something they always do, often causes stress in patients.

A study published in 2021 in Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy found that Alzheimer’s patients were significantly more likely to steer in one direction and drive more slowly. The changes were so stark that the researchers were able to build a model for predicting whether people had Alzheimer’s simply by looking at their driving. The accuracy rate of this model in detecting cases was around 90 percent.

Their ability to filter what they say is broken

As Alzheimer’s patients’ brains change, their ability to filter what they say and how they act tends to deteriorate in most cases. People can become rude, say inappropriate things, start undressing in public, or talk to strangers more often than before.

Experts believe the change is due to shrinkage in the prefrontal cortex, located in the frontal lobe of the brain.

The Alzheimer’s Association cautions on this point: “These situations can be very confusing, upsetting, shocking, or frustrating for people with dementia and those close to them. Patients may not understand why their behavior is viewed as inappropriate. It is unlikely that they will be deliberately misbehaving.”

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Even though we couldn’t name my grandmother, who passed away for a few years, when we look back from today, there have been some changes that we say “It means she has Alzheimer’s”. In general, I can summarize as the exact opposite of the person he used to be. For example, when he was a very talkative person, he had withdrawn into himself and never opened his mouth. He was not the same when he spoke. For example, he knocked on his door and said, “How can we do this?” The word that the woman he consulted most frequently used in the last period was “I don’t know”. When “Grandma, is this how it works?” If we did, he would reply, “I don’t know.” This includes the simplest things… For example, “We are going to the market, what should we buy?” When we asked him, he could say, “Take leeks”. When we say, “Grandma, there are no leeks in the market in summer”, the classic answer is: “I don’t know.” While he used to be a person who could do everything he could and knit properly like a knitter, he became unable to sew even a button properly. While she did not miss the nail polish in her youth, she had forgotten how to brush her teeth in recent years. We used to take him to the bathroom and hand him the putty brush, “What am I going to do with it?” she was saying. But perhaps the most bizarre thing was that he became an extremely suspicious, arrogant person. For example, when one or two guests came to the house, he would say “they will steal” and hide the keys of the house. If a neighbor’s food came, he would not say “it is poisonous” and would not eat or feed it. He doesn’t even know his son in front of him, he says to his daughter, “Who is this man? Why did you bring this to our house? Is it a thief or an unlucky one, what is it?” he could ask. Of course, these last ones were the cases that were experienced in advanced stages after receiving the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. As the disease progresses, I think the size of the differences between the old identity of the person and the new one increases.

Z.Y., 28


Another symptom of Alzheimer’s that parallels filter deprivation is patients swearing too much, especially in inappropriate places.

Researchers from the University of California found that 18 percent of people with Alzheimer’s chose swear words when asked to say words that begin with a certain letter.

In a study of 70 patients, published in Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology in 2010, participants were asked to count as many words as they could think of in one minute, beginning with the letters ‘f’, ‘a’, and ‘s’. Most of the 32 patients started by counting the swear words starting with these letters.

What other symptoms can we see in Alzheimer’s disease?

When should we view symptoms as a risk?

What can be done to minimize the effects?

All the curious and interesting symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, Neurology Specialist Dr. Özlem Aksoy Özmenek and Neurology Specialist Dr. We talked to Nasih Yılmaz.

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Stating that the public awareness about Alzheimer’s has increased in recent years, Özmenek said, “We can talk about 10 early findings that are accepted worldwide. In the first place, short-term memory impairment affects daily plans, forgetting to say the same words or asking the same questions, and repeating them. said and continued:

“Secondly, it can be counted as having difficulties in completing, starting or continuing the work that one does every day. Difficulties experienced in understanding speaking and writing limit their communication skills. Findings such as confusion in the time and place of the person, not being able to find his home or place to go, getting lost can be considered in this regard. Parallel to this, we may encounter a way of dressing that does not fit the time and the weather.

“Inability to park a car due to difficulties in placing things in different places than normal, not being able to find them, understanding visual images and spatial relationships, frequent traffic accident problems may arise. During the day, rapid changes such as anxiety, fear, unhappiness, irritability, anger, and aggression can also be observed. Finally, the coexistence of all these findings may cause social withdrawal with the instinct of embarrassment and hiding.”

Brain Stating that the functional organization of the cells in this region deteriorates after the destruction and decrease in the cells of this region over time, Yılmaz said, “After this, sexual orientations may change in some patients. For example, a very conservative person may exhibit deviant behaviors. While some patients are introverted, some patients transition from generosity to stinginess. It can be seen that some patients become quite wasteful. Especially in a form of forgetfulness we call frontotemporal dementia, such character changes can appear as a finding even before forgetfulness. said.

Forgetfulness is not the only symptom These behavioral changes point to Alzheimer's


“Why is there a particular focus on money?” Özmenek, who we asked the question of, emphasized that Alzheimer’s patients are repeatedly victimized by frauds through social media and telephone, and said, “They can not notice the bad people around them and help them beyond measure. The extravagant attitude towards money puts our patient and his family in difficult social, financial and legal situations.”

Drawing attention to character changes such as generosity, stinginess, perversion and introversion above, Yılmaz said, “If such symptoms are seen especially at advanced ages (over 65 years of age), patients should be evaluated for Alzheimer’s. The risk will be even more decisive for us,” he said.


Özmenek stated that the interesting findings of Alzheimer’s disease mentioned above can be seen intermittently in the early stages of the disease.Only one feature may come to the fore, or several findings may coexist. Basically, it is very important to distinguish the progressive and recurrent manifestations of these findings from normal old age. When the person needs outside help to do his daily work due to the findings, the middle stage can be accepted, “he said.

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