dementia is a progressive brain disorder resulting in loss of memory, the ability to speak, and ultimately the ability to function independently. (Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of the disease.) The biggest risk factor for dementia is simply aging. It is important to look out for early signs of the condition so that a diagnosis can be made and treatment can begin as soon as possible. According to doctors, these are some of the early signs of dementia. Read on to learn more – and to protect your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure signs you already had COVID.
“This can include a person forgetting what they had for breakfast, forgetting where they left an item, or having a hard time remembering why they entered a certain room,” he says dr holly shipa licensed clinical psychologist in Greenwich, Connecticut.
A common early sign of dementia is an impaired ability to communicate, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A person with dementia may have trouble finding the right words or finishing sentences. They may use substitutes or talk around words they can’t remember.
Personality or mood swings are a common but often misinterpreted early sign of dementia. A person with early dementia may become apathetic or lose interest in hobbies and time with friends and family, and become emotionally flat, Schiff says. Family members might attribute these changes to stress or nervousness.
A person with dementia may begin to have trouble reading, writing, or performing complicated mental tasks such as balancing a checkbook, following directions, or doing calculations. Familiar tasks like paying bills or cooking common recipes can become difficult. “When memory problems arise, the person with early dementia leaves tasks incomplete, avoids complex games and projects, and hands over financial management (like the checkbook) to a spouse or partner,” he says dr Thomas C Hammonda neurologist with Baptist Health Marcus Institute for Neuroscience in Boca Raton, Fla.
“People affected by dementia are very likely to exhibit repetitive behavior,” says Dr. Mark Davis, Physician at Pacific Analytics. “This includes asking or answering the same question multiple times, repeating their instructions, and speaking about the same incident multiple times.”
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“People with dementia begin to socialize, even when it comes to their favorite social activities,” says Davis. “You can become indifferent to other people at work and even at home. They are least concerned about what others are talking about or what they are doing. Likewise, they may stop doing things that were once added to their favorite to-do list.”
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“False memories are created here, but without the intention to deceive,” says Schiff. “The person is unable to recognize that what they are saying is fabricated and they sincerely believe that what they are saying is correct and genuine. Confabulation is typically a response to the cognitive changes one is experiencing.”
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“Memory problems and forgetfulness do not automatically mean dementia,” says Schiff. “These are normal parts of aging and can be caused by other factors, but you shouldn’t ignore the symptoms. If you have any of the symptoms associated with dementia and they are not improving, it is important that you see your doctor so that they can rule out other causes of your symptoms and determine whether it is dementia or not other cognitive problem. With early diagnosis and treatment, you can slow the progression of dementia and maintain your mental function.”
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