Symptoms and signs

Learn more about the primary signs and symptoms of dementia and alzheimer's disease, and discover how memory, personality and motor function can be affected.

Alzheimer's symptoms and signs

At first the only symptom may be mild forgetfulness. As the disease progresses, different aspects of brain functioning become impaired.


Initially short-term memory is affected, but as the disease progresses, it will also include long-term memory.

Perceptual abilities

Impairment of perceptual abilities is called agnosia. The brain develops an inability to process information obtained through the senses.

Executive functions

Planning and organisation is often affected in the early stages of the illness.


Impaired language functioning is called dysphasia. In the early stages the person has difficulty naming objects. Later on, other aspects of language functioning is also affected.

Motor functions

An inability to perform acquired motor functions is called apraxia. In the early stages the person may struggle with complex motor movements.

Personality changes

Personality changes occur in all people with Alzheimer's disease. The most common personality change is apathy, which is defined as a lack of interest and motivation.

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