While dementia mainly affects old people, it isn't a normal part of ageing. Statistics show that worldwide, 47.5 million people have dementia and each year, there are 7.7 new cases. However, many people aren't familiar with early dementia signs.
Dementia is a collection of symptoms, such as impairments in thought, memory and communication. So does this mean that if you're experiencing memory problems you should immediately conclude that it's dementia? Of course not!
You need to have at least two types of impairment that significantly interfere with your everyday life in order to receive a dementia diagnosis. Let's take a look at four early dementia signs...
Four dementia signs that are typical in the early stages
#1: You have trouble with memory
Subtle short-term memory changes can be an early dementia
sign. These changes are usually subtle and tend to involve short-term memory. For example, you may be able to remember events that happened years ago, but not what you had for dinner last night, or you might have forgotten where you left an item.
#2: You struggle to communicate your thoughts
Another early dementia sign is difficulty finding the right words. If you have dementia, you may have trouble explaining something or finding the right words to get a message across. Having a conversation with someone can be difficult and it may take longer than normal to conclude.
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#3: Your mood has changed
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Has your mood changed or your personality shifted? It isn’t always that simple to recognise this dementia sign in yourself, but others may notice it in you. For example, depression
is a typical early dementia sign.
#4: You often become confused
When thinking, memory or judgment lapses, confusion may arise. You may not be able to recognize faces, find the right words or interact with people normally. Confusion applies to different situations though – it can also occur if you, for example, misplace your car keys, have difficulty remembering someone you’ve met before or forget what comes next in the day.
If you have two or more of these symptoms, you should consult your doctor straight away.
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