Dementia is a general term to define a decrease in mental capacity, serious enough to make daily life difficult for a person. It describes a wide range of symptoms, including loss of memory, language, visual perception, reasoning, and judgment. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, but other types include Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and vascular dementia. Here are 10 signs of dementia we all need to know about.

10 signs of dementia we all need to know

Finding out that a friend or family member has been diagnosed with dementia can be devastating. While there is no cure for dementia, it is important to be able to recognize the symptoms. Finding dementia in its early stages can ensure that your loved one can begin treatment as soon as possible.

The following are 10 early signs of dementia that can guide you to know if you, or someone close to you, are having signs of this disease, so that you can act accordingly immediately.

1. Problems choosing words

An early sign of dementia is difficulty putting thoughts into words. Someone who is developing dementia may be desperately trying to remember a specific word, but just can’t tell what it is.

2. Difficulty understanding time

Having trouble understanding the past, present, and future can be a sign of dementia. Those who develop dementia are often unable to understand what it means when told that something will happen tomorrow or next week.

3. Short-term memory problems

Short-term memory problems can be an early sign that dementia is setting in. A person may not be able to recall past events or remember what they ate for dinner the night before. Also, they may have trouble remembering why they entered a certain room, or what they had planned for the day.

4. Difficulty making plans or solving problems

In the early stages of dementia, some find it difficult to make plans or try to follow plans . Others have a hard time trying to work with numbers. A general decrease in the ability to concentrate can be an early sign of dementia .

5. Mood swings

People who develop dementia often become depressed for short periods of time. They may experience a change in personality or mood swings. Seeing a drastic change in someone’s mood or behavior can be a sign that their judgment is deteriorating.

6. Difficulty carrying out daily tasks

Another early sign of dementia is difficulty in carrying out ordinary, everyday tasks. Someone who is developing dementia may find themselves unable to drive to a familiar place, or unable to remember the rules of a card game that they have been playing for years.

7. Problems recognizing places

Those who suffer from dementia are unable to recognize where they are at times. Even if they are in their own home, they may feel lost and confused. Having no memory of how they got somewhere or having trouble recognizing where they are can indicate dementia.

8. Problems writing

Patients with dementia can develop problems with writing. Similar to how they have trouble finding the right word to say, they may also have trouble writing down their thoughts or explaining things.

9. They are repetitive

Another of the signs of dementia that commonly exist in people who are candidates for this disease is that they become very repetitive. People who develop dementia often repeat something they already said, or ask a question that someone has already answered for them.

10. Lethargy

In the early stages of dementia, people can become somewhat lethargic. They lost interest in doing things they have enjoyed doing in the past, or they no longer want to leave their home. Losing interest in being with friends and family can be a sign of early dementia.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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