Alzheimer's symptom #2: Confusion over words
- Does the person have difficulty finding the "right" word when he's speaking?
- Does she forget or substitute words for everyday things (such as "the cooking thingamajig" for pot or "hair fixer" for comb)?
- Of course it's normal for anyone to occasionally "blank" on a word, especially words not often used. But it's considered a red flag for Alzheimer's if this happens with growing frequency and if the needed words are simple or commonplace ones.
This can be a very frustrating experience for the speaker. He may stall during a conversation, fixating on finding a particular word. She may replace the right word with another word. This substitute could be similar enough that you could guess at the meaning ("hair dryer" instead of "hairdresser"), especially early on in the disease process. Or it could be completely different ("bank" instead of "hairdresser") or nonsensical ("hairydoo").