Many people are of the opinion that dementia is a disease. But, it is actually a collection of symptoms that can be caused in the body due to the presence of different diseases. Some of symptoms of dementia include thinking, memory and communication impairment. Reports state that Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause for dementia. It can also be caused due to brain damage that has occurred due to a stroke or injury and can be caused by any other diseases like Lewy body dementia or Huntington’s dementia. Now, let us get into the details about the early signs of dementia:
Memory loss is not necessarily dementia:
If one of your family members is experiencing some trouble in memory, it is not essential that you will have to conclude it to be dementia. To conclude it as dementia, the patients should have at least two impairments that prevent them from engaging in their day-to-day activities. In addition to difficulty in remembering things, they will also have other issues like:
• Reasoning difficulty
• Focus issue
• Communication and language difficulty
Subtle short-term memory changes:
Generally, the memory changes will be of short-term nature. For instance, if your elderly father is able to remember what happened in his life ten or twenty years ago, but cannot remember what he had for the breakfast, it can be an early symptom of dementia. Other symptoms include difficulty in recollecting why they came to a particular room, forgetting where they left something or forgetting what are the tasks they have in a given day to complete.
Another early sign of this issue is struggling to put the thoughts into words. Even though, they can reach the right words, they cannot grasp the words. Generally, conversation with an elderly patient with this issue can take longer to conclude as they cannot understand things quickly and cannot communicate their thoughts.
This is another common symptom of dementia. Even though, an individual experiencing the problem cannot identify the problem within himself/herself, the family members can easily identify the same. For instance, depression is a clear early sign of dementia. In addition to mood changes, there are also chances of shift in personality. For instance, patients might suddenly turn from being shy to outgoing. The reason behind this is that the judgment of patients with this issue gets affected.
The patients might lose interest in activities and hobbies that they loved so far. They might hate to get out and involve in fun-filled activities. They might look emotionally flat and do not want to see their friends and family members.
Difficulty in engaging in day-to-day tasks:
A subtle difference in the ability to complete normal day-to-day tasks can surely be an early sign of dementia. This will generally begin with doing more complex works like playing games, balancing mathematical problems with a lot of rules. When there is difficulty in normal day-to-day tasks, there will surely be struggle in learning new things and follow new routines.
Other early signs for dementia include difficulty in following storylines, confusion, being repetitive and struggle in adapting to changes.