Initial symptoms of dementia: 10 warning signs


 Initial symptoms of dementia: 10 warning signs

Getting a diagnosis of dementia can be difficult because of the common signs dementia has with normal aging. Here we will review the top 10 warning signs.

With age, many of the body's functions begin to deteriorate and decline, some of these functions are physiological and others are psychological, so how can we distinguish whether this decline is related to normal aging or the onset of dementia?

What is dementia?

Dementia (Dementia), is a syndrome consisting of 72 Taatdm disease groups, the most widespread, is Alzheimer's (disease, Alzheimer), dementia is a gradual decline in the thinking capacity, due to an organic disease that affects the brain.

Symptoms of dementia include memory impairments of various degrees, loss of the ability to distinguish places and directions, as well as changes in behavior patterns and personality. All of this may affect the level of daily functioning in the patient's life.

The difficulty in recognizing dementia is that some of the symptoms that appear in dementia also appear with the onset of old age. Often, when a person experiences symptoms of dementia, they tend to associate these symptoms with old age.

Aging is not a disease (just as pregnancy and childbirth are not diseases), but rather a normal physiological state. However, you should know the warning signs that indicate the onset of dementia to start treatment early.

10 warning signs

The Alzheimer's Disease International has identified ten warning signs that indicate the onset of dementia, which are:

1- Deterioration in the performance and capabilities of immediate memory

It is a symptom that impairs the performance of daily tasks, and this sign is considered a prominent sign of Alzheimer's disease.

What is meant here is short-term memory, so that a person is not able to remember the people he met yesterday, and why he entered a room in the house, for example.

2- Difficulty planning and poor problem-solving ability

Alzheimer's patients face great difficulties in dealing with numbers or programs. Especially things like keeping track of a bank account, making payments, planning multi-stage operations, or functions like preparing food according to a recipe.

3- Difficulty completing tasks

These patients have difficulties in performing tasks they used to do in the past, such as: driving a car to a known place, the rules of the game in a familiar game, social and family relationships, or hobbies they used to do.

4- Confusion about time, situation, or place

Most Alzheimer's patients tend to lose track of time, relevance to the date, the season of the year, and how much time has passed.

They also have difficulty understanding things that happened at a different time from the present, where they are, or how they got to this place.

5- Difficulty analyzing visual information

Vision problems are one of the signs of the disease in some people with Alzheimer's disease. They have difficulty reading, evaluating dimensions, or identifying colors.

On the other hand, they also face difficulties in perception as well, for example, they may pass by a woman and do not understand that the personality that appears in the mirror is a reflection of them.

6- Difficulty speaking or writing

People with Alzheimer's or dementia have difficulty organizing a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a sentence without knowing how to follow it.

Or patients may find it difficult to re-pronounce certain terms or sentences (this phenomenon is called “repetition and answer retention”), and they may also have difficulty finding the required words and choosing an appropriate name for the thing or person.

7- Putting things in an unusual place and forgetting them

Alzheimer's patients tend to hide items, especially valuables such as jewelry or money, and when they have difficulty finding them, they tend to accuse those around them of theft, which those around them think are absurd ideas from these patients.

Absurd ideas about the husband's infidelity also spread, and with time, these accusations are more frequent and more frequent.

8- Decreased ability to evaluate things

Alzheimer's disease is characterized by a noticeable deterioration in the patient's ability to perform, especially about managing financial matters. They also decline in their ability to perform other tasks, such as choosing clothes, how to wear them and how to shower.

9- Leaving work, leaving friends and hobbies

The decline in brain performance affects daily tasks, and the patient goes through mental and physical changes, changes that also suffer from dementia patients and may lead to internalization and withdrawal.

The patient stays away from his family members, reduces his social relations to the point of complete estrangement, and stops completely from practicing his hobbies and preoccupation with them.

10- Mood changes and personality changes

A person with dementia or Alzheimer's may change mood and personality traits, become more confused and suspicious of those around him, and may suffer from depression, fear or anxiety.

He may have less empathy and concern for others, and it may become easy to arouse his nervousness at home or at work or vice versa. Also, these changes can occur far from where the patient feels comfortable.

Physical signs of dementia

In addition to the mental and psychological signs and warnings mentioned above, it is also necessary to pay attention to the physiological signs that appear in some patients with dementia and Alzheimer's, such as:

1- The nature of the movement

Alzheimer's patients tend to walk slower and with a different gait than usual, and they are slower to move from sitting to standing.

2- Fall

Alzheimer's patients with reduced thinking tend to fall more often than other elderly people.

In addition to the fact that falling is a sign of dementia, attention should be paid to the elderly’s fall because it exposes them to the risks of brain bleeding, injuries to the extremities, and fractures, which in turn may cause pain and limit the ability to move.

3- Weight loss

After investigating and ruling out the possibility of weight loss for other reasons, it is worth considering that weight loss may be a sign of the onset of dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

Weight loss occurs as a result of the affected person not remembering whether or not he ate, what he ate, or even as a result of forgetting to buy food.

4- Lack of control over the output processes

Disorders of urine output may occur, starting with the frequent and increased need to urinate, and ending with incontinenceThere may also be cases of involuntary passing of stool without warning (rectal incontinence).

These phenomena relate to the lack of central control and control over the independent functioning of the organs responsible for the excretion of urine or feces.

5- epileptic seizures

As part of the processes of atrophy of the cerebral cortex, seizures of an epileptic nature may occur, convulsions, partial seizures, or seizures from the periphery may occur.

If you, or any of your close ones, suffer from one of the signs mentioned in the above, it is necessary to go to the specialist, as early diagnosis of dementia / Alzheimer's is very important and crucial in the process of obtaining treatment that slows the progression and exacerbation of the disease.