Early signs may indicate Alzheimer's

October 13, 2009 1:41:18 PM PDT
A failing memory may not be the first sign of Alzheimer's disease. New research shows that a decline in spatial skills, such as the ability to read a map or do a jigsaw puzzle, may be a more accurate prediction of the disease.

The study finds that three years before actually being diagnosed, many people start having trouble perceiving the distance between objects.

A sharp decline in memory skills usually isn't apparent until one year before diagnosis.

The Archives of Neurology study may help doctors identify Alzheimer's at an earlier stage.