Fact: one in every three people born will at some point in their lifetime develop dementia. Like seriously? Yikes! Dementia is on the rise as we speak, and whether you’re aware or not, it’s real and not rare. And there is no way to prevent dementia, however, there’s a good chance of detecting the early signs soon enough. There are lots of lifestyle choices you can do to reduce your risk of further development of the condition. Your best option is to get diagnosed and treated as early as possible. According to Alzheimer’s Society, here are the six signs of early dementia.
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It is very tricky to identify early signs of dementia as these symptoms are relatively mild and discreet. The early stages could last for roughly two years, during which you notice several behavioral changes in your lifestyle. From this point, you’ll begin to feel mostly independent but from time to time you may ask for a little bit of assistance.
The Alzheimer’s Society has unveiled the six most promising symptoms of early dementia.
#1. Memory Problems
Of course, this is the most obvious sign of dementia. This is true for most cases of diagnosed patients. For instance, if you find it difficult in remembering recent events or your personal information (such as passwords and where you left your keys) call your shrink.
“Memory loss is often the first and main symptom in early Alzheimer’s disease,” as the Alzheimer’s Society explains. “It is also seen, although less often, in early vascular dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). However, memory loss is not common in early frontotemporal dementia (FTD).”
#2. Cognitive Difficulties
During the early stages, patients often plan and organize their things more thoroughly. For instance, the Alzheimer’s Society explains that a person may get confused more easily and find it harder to plan, make complex decisions (like budgeting and finances) or solve simple problems. These include anything like going to the market, planning your day, paying the bills, or getting confused with close family and friends.
#3. Language And Communication
Persons with early signs of dementia often lose track of communication and find it hard to cope with language and meaningful sentiments. They tend to misunderstand and over complicated things.
“Speech can also be affected when someone with vascular dementia has had a stroke. Specific types of FTD cause particular early problems with language,” the Alzheimer’s Society adds.
#4. Emotional And Mood Changes
Anxiety, stress disorders, and depression are typical of early dementia. Patients tend to get anxious, frightened, and/or sad, so they stand at a higher risk of depression. They also get more irritable than usual, choosing to avoid people in general.
“A person can often be more withdrawn, lack self-confidence and lose interest in hobbies or people,” the Alzheimer’s Society experts say.
“Changes in behaviour are not common in early-stage dementia, other than in FTD. A person with behavioural variant FTD may lose their inhibitions and behave in socially inappropriate ways. They may also act impulsively and lose empathy for others,”experts continue.
“Significant physical changes at this stage tend to be limited to DLB, where problems with movement are similar to Parkinson’s disease. If someone with vascular or mixed dementia has a stroke, this can lead to weak limbs on one side.”
#5. Poor Orientation
Persons with early signs of dementia often have difficulty maneuvering and become confused in unfamiliar environments. The struggle with conformity and lack of self-awareness of whatever is happening at the moment.
The Alzheimer’s Society says, “A person may no longer recognise where they are and so get lost, even in a place that is familiar to them.”
#6. Visual-Perceptual Difficulties
Last but not least, persons with early signs of dementia have difficulty with whatever they visually perceived. This is common when determining distances, for instance when using the stairs, or how far away or close an object is.
“This issue is more common in early-stage Alzheimer’s disease and DLB than in vascular dementia or FTD,” the Alzheimer’s Society explains. “Visual-perceptual difficulties are different from the visual hallucinations (often of animals or people) that are a feature of early-stage DLB.”
Do you have any of these early signs?
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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Sat, Apr 16, 2022.