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Sir Terry Pratchett's Alzheimer's progression forces him to cancel his appearance at convention

by , 05 August 2014

Seven years ago, legendary fantasy novel writer, Sir Terry Pratchett, told the world he had early onset Alzheimer's. And he's recently had to cancel his appearance at a DiscWorld convention because of it. The convention is only later in the year, but due to his worsening condition he can't go.

In the early stages of his disease he was really positive. "If you didn't know anything was wrong with me, you won't know anything was wrong with me," he said in a statement.

But in the latest press release, he wrote: "I am very sorry about this. But I have been dodging the effects of [Alzheimer's] and have been able to write for much longer than any of us ever thought possible. Now ‘The Embuggerance' is finally catching up with me, along with other age-related ailments."

Prachett's health decline has cast the spotlight on catching this disease early…

But how do you know if your loved on is suffering from the symptoms of early onset Alzheimer's?

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Here are the most common symptoms of early onset Alzheimer's

Only about 5% of people develop early onset Alzheimer's, say experts. This disease affects the sufferer before the age of 65.
So learn to recognize these five warning signs in your loved ones:
1. Memory loss affects the way of life: This is about more than just forgetting someone's name or where you left your car keys! The memory loss associated with Alzheimer's is much worse and there’s a need to set reminders about dates or events that are well known. And it involves asking for the information over and over again.
2. Can't problem solve: If your loved one can't follow a simple task - like a recipe – like they used to, it could mean they have Alzheimer's.
3. Difficulty managing simple tasks: Not being able to remember the rules of an easy or favourite game could be a warning sign. Also, if they’re having difficulty performing tasks that were once easy and simple to do may mean it's time to check for Alzheimer's.
4. Not knowing where they are: A significant warning sign for Alzheimer's is becoming confused with time and place.
5. Visual understanding become difficult: Something as simple as remembering the name of a colour or being able to read may become difficult.
So make sure you look out for these common symptoms of early onset Alzheimer's and don't simply chalk them down to old age. 

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