10 EARLY WARNING SIGNS OF DEMENTIA
Dr Reginald Varadarajulu Vsm
Hbr layout, Bengaluru Nov 27, 2017
WHAT IS DEMENTIA?
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a decline in mental ability that is severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer disease is the most common type of dementia.
Vascular dementia, Lewy Body disease, head trauma, fronto-temporal dementia, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease can all cause symptoms of dementia.
Many dementias are progressive as the symptoms begin to show up slowly and gradually get worse, destroying the brains functioning.
So how can you recognise the tell-tale signs of dementia?
- MEMORY LOSS
It’s normal for most of us to forget phone numbers, meetings, and names occasionally but a person with dementia may forget recent events and can’t remember them later as well.
- DIFFICULTY IN DOING REGULAR TASKS
Everyday things such as cooking, driving, using a computer can seem like a challenge for people suffering from dementia.
- LANGUAGE PROBLEMS
A person with dementia will struggle to communicate thoughts and face difficulty in finding the right words to express themselves. Holding and concluding a conversation can be extremely troublesome.
Dementia can make a person lose interest in hobbies or activities that they once previously enjoyed. They may appear listless and emotionally flat.
- MOOD & PERSONALITY CHANGES
A person with dementia will undergo sudden and rapid mood swings, along with changes in personality. They appear confused, suspicious, withdrawn or go from shy to outgoing.
- POOR JUDGEMENT
People suffering from dementia find it difficult to make appropriate judgement such as what to wear during a cold weather or where to park the car.
- MISPLACING THINGS
This is a classic sign of dementia. People forget where they put their things and find it hard to locate them. He or she may find the thing but forget what its purpose was.
- POOR SPATIAL SKILLS
The sense of direction, distance and spatial orientation begins to deteriorate with the onset of dementia. Once-familiar landmarks and regularly used directions are easily forgotten.
In the early stages of dementia, people often become confused. They no longer remember faces, find the right words or interact with people normally.
- BECOMING REPETITIVE
A person with dementia begins to repeat tasks such as bathing, eating, or saying the same things over and over again.
Although dementia is common among older people, above the age of 60, early dementia can set in from the age of 30 also. Occasional forgetfulness should not be confused with dementia until it starts to interfere with your daily life.
If diagnosed early, dementia can be treated and mental function can be maintained.