Confusion over finances could signal Alzheimer's onset

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New research has found that a person's sudden inability to grasp concepts such as money, credit, contracts and agreements is one of the first signs of dementia. Some researchers even say that confusion over personal finances is the most important and predictable clue that a patient's memory is in decline, The New York Times reported.

Experts say this problem, unfortunately, is all too common. And its effects aren't limited to the individual with dementia and their family-it's also problematic for their financial advisers. Financial regulators and financial service providers have met with officials from the Alzheimer's Association to write guidelines about handling such cases. 

As experts are able to diagnose Alzheimer's earlier and earlier, the issue becomes complicated. The question of who gets to decide whether an individual still has strong decision-making capabilities is something neither family nor financial advisers want to make.