What are the earliest signs of Alzheimer's?


What are the very earliest signs of Alzheimer's? I'm noticing in one relative of mine increased emotional lability, catastrophizing, focusing on the negative to an extreme degree and being illogical and a bit paranoid. These tendencies were always there but they are much worse in the last two years and it is interfering with her ability to make smart decisions about her own healthcare. Refusing to see the doctor for persistent problems because she's paranoid they will be incompetent and won't help her anyway. She's only 60 and still working so she's still very functional. Her mother and grandmother had Alzheimer's and I'm worried about her particularly any early onset of Alzheimer's or dementia. I also will be managing her care along with my mother's and it's one of my greatest fears that I'll have to deal with both at the same time. If I were to talk directly with my relative about what I'm seeing she would just get very defensive and angry but refuse to consider there's any real problem - because only her opinion is valid, but that's always been true, lol. Doctors have tried repeatedly to give her antidepressants but she rejects this out of hand. Thanks you all for your perspectives.

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Hi Fairydust,
Memory issues are usually one of the first signs of Alzheimer's, but not always. Paranoia can be present early, as can the inability to make sound decisions. However, there are other types of dementia besides Alzheimer's.
Since this woman is working, perhaps a supervisor at work has noticed some of these issues and could suggest a checkup.
Also, if your relative could be made to understand that medication interactions or an infection such as a urinary tract infection (UTI) could cause some of her symptoms, maybe she'd see a doctor. She must go for some checkups since you mentioned that doctors have recommended antidepressants.
I'm not sure how you'll get her examined unless someone with some authority makes her go to a doctor. You may be right that she is showing signs of early on-set Alzheimer's, but after a good checkup, you all may be relieved to find that she has something else wrong.
If no one at work can convince her to go to a doctor, how about a good friend or a religious leader?
I wish you luck. This is not an uncommon problem. Many people are afraid of what they will hear so they refuse to see a doctor.
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Thank you Carol for your advice and thoughts. I'll look for an opening as time moves forward - there's a possible opportunity that may come in the next few months. The topic of Alzheimer's/dementia is like the boogie man in my family - no one wants to talk about it or admit they they are likely "next" now that the older generation that had it has passed away.
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Hi Carol, I don't know if you are still reading but another question I thought of - do my relative's symptoms sound like they could be connected to a different kind of dementia other than Alzheimer's? Again....I think most people who know her would not think dementia, more like personality disorder, but it's gotten noticeably worse. Thanks again.
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