Dementia symptoms: Vital early signs of the progressive brain condition

Dementia: Dr Sara on benefits of being in nature

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With 209,600 cases of dementia predicted to develop this year, and cases said to reach 1.6 million by 2040, early detection of the brain condition is key to help medical professionals to slow down the progression of the disease. UK based charity Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) shared the “early signs” of dementia. Three possible indications include:

  • Struggling to remember a name
  • Struggling to follow a conversation
  • Struggling to recall what they did yesterday.

“Changes in a person in the early stages of dementia can be so gradual they can often be mistaken for normal ageing,” SCIE cautioned.

“Because dementia affects people in different ways, symptoms may not always be obvious.”

Questions to ask include:

  • Are they forgetting the names of friends or everyday objects?
  • Are they finding it difficult to follow a TV programme?
  • Do they repeat things over and over again?
  • Are there any issues with thinking or reasoning skills?
  • What are the key differences between forgetfulness and dementia?

Misplacing house keys, forgetting an acquaintance’s name, or forgetting why you entered a specific room can be down to usual memory lapses.

Such memory lapses may seem more prominent when feeling stressed or suffering from low mood.

A person with dementia, on the other hand, will begin to have a failing short-term memory that has an impact on their work, social, or home life.

Instead of forgetting where the remote control is, for example, a person with dementia may forget what a TV remote is used for.

Difficulties might arise with recognising familiar faces, such as the current Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“They may forget to do simple household jobs or go to the shops and forget what they want to buy,” the charity added.

People with dementia might forget recent events, but their memory recall of what happened many years prior could be extremely sharp.

A person with dementia will eventually struggle to follow or join in on a conversation.

Finding the right words to express themselves can become extremely more difficult.

“A person may experience difficulties understanding what is being said,” the charity added.

“They may appear vague or have a puzzled expression, or just nod in response rather than reply.”

Other examples include losing their way in the middle of a sentence and struggling to describe a recent event.

Words they once said correctly could now be said in an incorrect manner, and the names of objects may become lost.

To illustrate, instead of using the word sun, they might describe it as a shiny red ball in the sky.

Increasing difficulty with understanding jokes or picking up on subtle or hidden meanings may also become more apparent.

If any any point you are concerned about a loved one’s memory, they should be encouraged to visit a doctor.

Keeping on top of your brain functioning involves regular health check-ups with your doctor.

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