Dr. William Thies

Importance of Early Diagnosis

William Thies, Ph.D., Chief Medical & Scientific Officer

Alzheimer's Association.

Dr. Thies speaks to us through a PBS video on the value of early diagnosis for Alzheimer's Disease.



Silvert's Disabled Clothing for Elderly Care

There are two directions for treatment of Alzheimer's. The first involves memory, language, paying attention, and judgment. This first group are called cognitive symptoms. The second group involves emotional behaviors like temper outbursts, suspiciousness, or withdrawal.


memory loss causes

image of genetic code

There continue to be new discoveries of genes related to Alheimer's as scientists unravel our genetic code. These discoveries can lead to the developement of treatments, including new drugs, that can slow the progression of the disease. Of course the greatest hope is to find a preventative and a cure. Read Gretchen Heuring's plain-talk article on the complicated issues involved.




Alzheimer's Diagnosis:

Why Bother?

Ella Traver for ElderThink



If we think we might have Alzheimer's,what's the point in asking a doctor? They can't even tell if we have it until we're already in Stage 4.



Researcher Working

Researchers in the U.S. and around the globe are searching for ways to prevent and cure Alzheimer's Disease. Many believe that understanding the cause of Alzheimer's will provide valuable clues to prevention and treatment. Read about the newest research breakthroughs.



Alzheimer's Unmasked

Paul Barton


Testing for Alzheimer's in complicated. Your doctor could observe memory loss but it might not be due to Alzheimer's. It's important to have the right sort of evaluation. Learn about finding out for sure.


10 Signs of Alzheimer's

Forgetting That Is Not Normal

Gretchen Heuring for ElderThink


We all forget things, our grocery list, people's names at the moment of introduction, or why we walked into a room. Of course we remember later and slap our heads. This type of forgetting is probably due to just plain having too many other things to think about. This is normal forgetting. It's not Alzheimer's.


Alzheimer's Association Names 10 Signs

The Alzheimer's Association has defined ten tell-tale signs of this terrible disease. Before we begin the list, it's important to understand that Alzheimer's is fatal. It is a slow decline that results in being unable to care for ourselves and we die from it.


Alzheimer's can be emotionally overwhelming for our loved ones and, because the progression takes so long, the disease can absorb all available financial resources, leaving our spouse and family with very little.


The disease presents itself differently in different people but these ten signs provide a good handle on what might be wrong.


#1 Memory Loss That Disrupts Daily Life

This means forgetting recently learned information and not remembering it later; asking the same question over and over; and needing help with ordinary things like choosing groceries.


#2 Trouble Planning Or Solving Problems

Problem-solving trouble might show up as taking much longer than usual to do things; having trouble with a familiar recipe; not managing monthly bills; or general trouble concentrating.


#3 Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks

This is different from forgetting how to record a TV show. A more realistic example would be getting lost on the way to a familiar place; or not remembering the rules of a frequently played game.


#4 Confusion With Time Or Place

An example of this type of confusion would be forgetting where you are and/or how you got there. Another would be thinking morning is afternoon or summer is winter. Sometimes people with Alzheimer's have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately.


#5 Trouble Understanding Pictures Or Distances

This sort of trouble could mean difficulty reading, or judging distances, or seeing contrast between colors. People with Alzheimer's might not recognize themselves in a mirror and think it is another person.


#6 Problems With Words

People with Alzheimer's could stop talking in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue; or they might frequently call things by the wrong name. Forgetting the name of something (or someone) now and then is fairly normal and is not the same as frequent problems with words.


#7 Unable To Retrace Steps To Find Things

We all lose things. People with Alzheimer's are not able to retrace their steps to find lost things. They can't think about the "usual places" to look for something that is lost. Often they accuse others of stealing their things.


#8 Poor Judgment

Poor judgment might show up in clothing choices, or grooming, or staying clean. It could also show up as giving large amounts of money to telemarketers.


#9 Withdrawal

Withdrawal for social interaction, hobbies, or projects is common among people with Alzheimer's. The biggest reason for withdrawal is trouble getting all the way through a task. Being alone is just more comfortable.


#10 Mood And Personality Changes

People with Alzheimer's can be easily upset if they are feeling uncomfortable. When they are confused by their surroundings they can become anxious or suspicious. Temper outbursts and flight are part of this change.