Alzheimer’s linked to swearing and poor parking
Memory loss is an important symptom of Alzheimer’s disease, but it is only one of many signs of the disease.
The disease, which affects 5.8 million people in the United States, often presents as forgetfulness, irritability and difficulty communicating.
Earlier this month, researchers said they discovered another sign of the disease: reckless altruism.
The new findings suggest that older people who are more willing to give money to strangers are at higher risk of developing the neurodegenerative disease.
“Difficulty managing money is believed to be one of the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s disease, and this finding supports that notion,” Duke Han, lead study author and professor of neuropsychology, said in a statement. communicated.
The study is the latest to shed light on the mysterious disease. Read on to learn more about the hard to discern symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease:
To give money
Compared to younger generations, older people are more likely to fall victim to online phishing scams, which could be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease in some.
Researchers from the University of Southern California and Bar-Ilan University in Israel have found a link between handing out cash and early signs of the disease.
For their study, they took 67 adults in their mid-70s and paired each of them with someone they had never met before; they were then given $10 and asked to split it among themselves.
Participants who gave their money more readily had poorer brain status, which means they were more likely to get Alzheimer’s disease.
The results were published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
A changing sense of humor
If you’re a recent fan of slapstick comedy, you might also be at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.
University College London conducted a study in which they asked 48 friends and families of people with Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia about the type of comedy their loved ones preferred, with the options of slapstick comedy, satirical comedy or absurd comedy.
They were also asked if their preference for comedy had changed over the past 15 years.
The results, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, revealed that the preference for slapstick comedy began nine years before the most common symptoms of dementia.
Meanwhile, another recent study found that people with early dementia often don’t find other people’s jokes funny, while other research has found that people with dementia are slow to pick up on sarcasm.
Lose your filter
As a patient’s brain changes, they may slowly lose their ability to assess both what they say and how they act. That’s because the part of the brain that controls our internal filter, the frontal prefrontal cortex, is known to shrink with age, experts say.
“These situations can be very confusing, scary, shocking or frustrating for a person with dementia, as well as for those close to them,” explained the Alzheimer Society. “The person with dementia may not understand why their behavior is considered inappropriate. They are very unlikely to be deliberately inappropriate.
Some of these situations include patients who are accidentally rude or impolite – and, in some unfortunate cases, touch others inappropriately.
Swearing can also be a marker, as the disease weakens their inhibitions.
A study published in Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology asked 70 patients to name as many words as possible beginning with the letters “f”, “a” and “s” in less than a minute.
Despite the lack of raw data, 32 patients with dementia offered the expletive “f–k” when asked for a list of words beginning with that letter.
A new wardrobe
Illness can make it difficult to get dressed in the morning.
When left unattended, people with Alzheimer’s disease may pick out clothes that don’t look good together and may not be suitable for the weather conditions.
Research published in Sociology of Health and Illness studied 38 people in nursing homes. One study participant, Melissa, spoke of the change in her father’s clothing habits after he developed Alzheimer’s disease.
“I never saw my dad scruffy. Never. Until that day, I got home and he’s sitting there in messy clothes, which really hurt me because I’m not used to it – not at all,” he said. she declared.
Decreased driving skills, especially seen in the parking lot, may be an early sign.
A study published in Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy found that people diagnosed early with Alzheimer’s disease were more likely to drive slower and experience greater changes in their usual driving habits.
The study was successful enough to create a model based solely on driving habits to predict whether people had Alzheimer’s disease and accurately diagnose in 90% of cases.