Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that causes the brain to shrink, ultimately destroying memory and disrupting other important cognitive functions. Aside from the effect on memory, many other symptoms can signal the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Any of these symptoms are known to affect speech in patients, and those suffering from them tend to induce conversations in an odd pattern that doctors may recognize as a red flag. Read on to learn more about language-related symptoms that could indicate early Alzheimer’s disease and how to recognize them in yourself and others.
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Alzheimer’s disease is most common in people over the age of 65, but people with early-stage Alzheimer’s can start noticing symptoms as early as their 40s and 50s. These patients often face special challenges due to their life stage, which may include young children, demanding jobs and elderly parents to care for.
Alzheimer’s disease in young people Experts at the Alzheimer’s Association say that accurately diagnosing early Alzheimer’s disease can be a lengthy and frustrating process. “Symptoms can be misattributed to stress, or there can be conflicting diagnoses from different medical professionals. People with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease can be at any stage of dementia — early-stage, mid-stage, or late-stage,” the researchers add. everyone is different and symptoms vary. »
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Although many symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are subtle and therefore likely to be misattributed to stress, exhaustion, or some other health issue, one specific symptom may stand out: speech disorders, in which people repeat what others have said in a conversation.
It turns out that this type of verbal repetition is surprisingly common in people with Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, a 2017 study was published in the journal International Geriatric Psychiatry I found that verbal repetition occurred in more than 47% of patients with dementia. “Verbal repetition was more common in people with mild dementia than in people with moderate and severe dementia, and in people with Alzheimer’s disease compared to other dementias,” the researchers wrote. “Overall, verbal repetition was the most common of the 60 potential presentations reported as an observation target, in 807 people. »
Echolalia’s voice can sound different from patient to patient, but knowing the range of presentations can help you spot symptoms as early as possible.
People with echogenicity may repeat words or phrases immediately after hearing them, after a short pause, or in some cases even hours or days after the conversation ended. Some people repeat the words exactly as they heard them, while others change the wording slightly.
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If you notice echo signs in yourself or someone else, don’t panic: Alzheimer’s disease is not the only possible explanation for these symptoms. It’s important to see a doctor who can help you determine if verbal repetition is related to dementia.
In addition to Alzheimer’s disease, echosound can also be caused by other neurodegenerative diseases such as brain injury or trauma, delirium, Tourette’s syndrome, encephalitis, stroke, epilepsy and schizophrenia. When symptoms appear in young children, they are often considered a possible sign of autism, although they can also be part of normal language development at this age.
Talk to your doctor if you notice verbal repetitions in your or someone else’s speech patterns. Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, you may be able to slow its progression with the help of your doctor.
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