Alzheimer's patients with mild symptoms could have difficulty handling their finances, it has emerged.
Losing the ability to handle finances has long been recognised as a symptom of the condition, however new research suggests that it can emerge in earlier stages than previously thought.
A team at the University of Alabama's Alzheimer's Disease Centre tested 55 people with early-stage Alzheimer's and compared their money skills with 63 healthy elderly people.
Each participant was asked to undertake a series of financial tasks including writing a cheque and reading a bank statement – they were then re-tested after one year.
It was found that compared with the healthy participants those with mild Alzheimer's performed badly on 16 out of the 18 tasks.
After one year they also demonstrated higher levels of deterioration.
Lead researcher, Daniel Mason, stated that the finding suggest that patients even in the earliest stages of the disease should put their finances in order.
According to the Alzheimer's Society, there are currently 700,000 people with dementia in the UK.
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