Spot The Early Signs Of Dementia Do Not Ignore Them

Posted On Dec 24, 2019

Department of Neurology

Manipal Hospitals

Top neurologist in Bangalore

It is quite frustrating when you try recalling the name of a movie or a person, and you just can’t get what it is, right? Every individual experiences forgetfulness in some situations at times. But what if this happens on a regular basis and more often? You may feel worried if it is linked to memory disorders such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Check how far your problem is linked to the disease.

Dementia is not a specific disease. It is a group of sign and symptoms that affect brain functions, thinking process, and social abilities.  Memory loss is one of the many early symptoms, and could be caused by many reasons. As it is common for people to forget things at some point in life, drawing conclusions from this single symptom is not right to know if you have dementia or not. There are many other early symptoms which are not linked to memory problems; you may be surprised to know. Spotting the symptoms can be a bit tricky especially in the early stages. Let’s take a look at these early symptoms in this blog.

Memory loss

Forgetfulness is the early sign of dementia. Forgetting things is more common as we age. So, it becomes more difficult to recognize whether it is dementia or is a part of the normal aging process.

It becomes a concern when you start losing items very often or if you get lost in a familiar place. Misplacing things is common, but unable to trace them back or to put them in unusual places is seen in such patients, for example putting jewelry items in a refrigerator. You may forget very routine processes such as cooking, dressing up or cleaning, etc. You become increasingly dependent on making notes to remember your daily activities etc.

Struggle with vocabulary

It becomes difficult to frame proper sentences while speaking, or you may forget the very common terms during your communication. During the discussion, you suddenly stop because you do not know what to say. The other extremity is to repeatedly speak the same sentences. You may have problems getting the right words ending up using wrong names, for example calling a watch as a hand-clock.

Difficulty with tasks

You suddenly start finding it difficult to carry out the daily activities; the tasks which were easy to do earlier seem to be tough to do now. You may repeat the task which you have just now finished. Things become more challenging! Working with numbers, developing a plan and following the plan become very difficult for such patients.

Behavioral changes

Personality changes such as uncontrolled anger, irritation, changes in mood shifting between low and high. These ups and downs can make it difficult for you to follow conversations. You suddenly start feeling bored of something which you were fascinated about earlier.

Due to certain experiences, people with dementia may have social withdrawal and do not participate in social activities, projects, sports, etc. They lack the motivation and feel sleepy more than the usual.

Unusual facial expressions such as laughing inappropriately in a situation where empathy is expected are shown by such patients. The brain does not process the information like in the normal people. It can get attacked, and the patient keeps constantly staring at the things or space.

Disrupted sleeping pattern

Due to a disorientation with the time and space, such persons may wake up night times thinking it to be daytime and insist people around to get going with the day activities.

Poor judgment

The decision-making skills of the patient with dementia will get diminished or are poor. They start spending on things they may not need. Beware of this! An inability to take sound decisions especially while dealing with money can make you the target for scammers.

Frequent falls

Brain scans of people who had frequent falls found a link between falls Alzheimer’s disease and falls. Systemic changes unrelated to the brain occur in the body of such patients leading to frequent falls.

Loss of smell

In Alzheimer’s disease, the olfactory nerve which governs the smell is the one which gets affected at first. It leads to the loss of perceiving the smell.

Changes in vision

This becomes more dangerous for people who need to drive to their destiny every day.

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