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10 Early Signs Of Dementia You Should Not Ignore

Dementia is considered as a progressive form of memory decline where the thinking ability deteriorates due to the loss of brain cells. Alzheimer's disease is the primary reason behind the occurrence of dementia.

Dementia is one such condition that can seriously hamper a person's life and daily routine. It causes a series of symptoms that deplete the patient's memory skills, thinking abilities, and cognitive functions. Dementia is more common in people over 65, but it can also affect younger people. Early-onset of the disease can begin when people are in their 30s, 40s, or 50s.

Dementia is of different types, with the most common one being Alzheimer's and the others being Lewy body dementia, frontotemporal dementia, vascular disorders and mixed dementia, or a combination of types [1].

Rather than a disorder, dementia can be called a group of symptoms that are jointly responsible for impairing a person's brain functions. This condition can be caused by various reasons such as brain cell damage, Alzheimer's disease, head injury, stroke, brain tumour, etc. Dementia has no known cure, and the symptoms usually get worse with time [2].

There are certain early signs of dementia that must not be taken lightly. Read about them here and do seek professional help if needed.

Sure Signs Of Dementia That Require Medical Attention

1. Short-term Memory Loss

People at the risk of dementia may be able to remember the things from their past, but not what they did a few hours ago, and this is called short-term memory loss, which is one of the primary warning signs of dementia [3].

2. Mood Swings

Although there are a lot of causes for mood swings, if they are rather extreme and lead to depressive and aggressive behaviours, it could mean that the person may have dementia [4]. An individual with dementia may not be able to differentiate between normal mood swings and the ones associated with memory decline. However, an individual may be able to notice this change in someone else [5].

3. Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks

Another common early sign of dementia, an individual may find it hard to complete normal tasks such as playing games, writing down something etc. During this phase, the individual may find it hard to learn how to do new things or follow new routines as well [6].

4. Confusion

An individual in the early stages of dementia may often become confused [7]. Confusion can occur for many reasons; they may get confused during effortless tasks, do not understand simple storylines, and go through confusion when someone tries to converse with them.

5. Difficulty In Communication

Some people may have difficulty framing proper sentences while speaking or may tend to forget certain common words used during communication. This could be another early sign of dementia [8].

6. Apathy

If people become abnormally devoid of emotions and show indifference, losing interest in most daily activities, they must be tested for dementia. Apathy is a sign that occurs in early dementia, and the person may lose interest in hobbies and refrain from doing anything fun [9].

7. Repetitiveness

Another common sign of dementia, repetitiveness due to memory loss and general behavioural changes, needs immediate medical attention [10]. If a person repeats the same task that they have just finished doing or if they keep on conversing about the same things that were already done by them, it could be yet another sign of dementia.

8. Decreased Sense Of Direction

In extreme cases, a person at risk of dementia tends to lose the sense of direction and may even forget where their house or workplace is. This is a sign that should definitely not be ignored.

9. Struggling To Adapt To Change

For an individual in the early stages of dementia, change can be fearful [11]. As forgetfulness is the primary symptom of dementia, change and new experiences can be difficult for the individual.

10. Difficulty Following Speech

A person in the early stages of dementia can find it difficult to follow speech or storylines [12]. They may find it difficult to use the right words, the meaning of words and may find it difficult to follow along with conversations or TV programs.

Here are some more signs of dementia:

  • Difficulty understanding visual information
  • Misplacing things
  • Poor judgment or decision-making
  • Withdrawal from socialising

Note: According to doctors, these are the sure signs of dementia, and if an individual is facing two or more of these symptoms, and the symptoms are severe enough to interfere with their daily life, consult a doctor as soon as possible.

On A Final Note...

If you or your loved ones are experiencing any of the aforementioned signs, consult a doctor immediately. You do not have to get older for your cognitive functions to malfunction; it can happen at any age - it could be signs of dementia or another illness for which doctors can provide support.

What foods are bad for dementia?

According to nutritionists, red meat, butter and margarine, cheese, pastries and sweets, and fried or fast food are bad for dementia.

What does the beginning of dementia feel like?

In the beginning stages of dementia, a person can feel more and more confused with days and may feel frustrated and angry with themselves. They may also become angry or upset with other people very easily.

Can you prevent dementia?

Not really. However, doctors advise that one can take preventive measures such as working your brain with the help of puzzles, memory games etc. Getting at least 150 minutes of exercise per week and eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vegetables, whole grains and fruits.

What conditions can be mistaken for dementia?

Health issues that have dementia-like symptoms and can be mistaken for dementia include thyroid, kidney, liver, heart and lung problems, urinary and chest infections and stroke.

At what point do dementia patients need 24-hour care?

As the condition progresses, the patient will become unable to function and eventually lose control of movement. Then, they will require 24-hour care and supervision as they will be unable to communicate or function normally.

At what age do signs of dementia start?

In general, the signs of dementia start at the age of 65, but it can also affect younger people. Early-onset of the disease can begin when people are in their 30s, 40s, or 50s.

How can you tell if someone has dementia?

Some of the common signs that help understand if someone has dementia are - if they are vague in communication, memory loss that affects daily activities, short term memory loss, difficulty performing and understanding minor tasks, lack of enthusiasm etc.

What are the 10 warning signs of dementia?

The primary 10 warning signs of dementia are memory loss, difficulty performing daily tasks and thinking, impaired judgement, issues with understanding speech/language, time and space disorientation, misplacing things, apathy, difficulty with planning and organizing and visual difficulties.

Read more about: dementia memory loss alzheimers