First used in the medical community in the 18th century, Dementia, a Latin derived word, is not a disease, as stated by the Mayo clinic. Dementia is a medical term used to describe changes in the brain that causes one to lose their ability to function, which consequently results in interference with their daily lives.
Dementia may cause one to experience reduced focus and ability to pay attention, deterioration in language skills, and problem-solving and visual perception. It’s also possible for individuals to experience personality changes and find it difficult to control their emotions when they have Dementia.
Several brain medical conditions have been known to cause Dementia, with Alzheimer’s being the number one cause as it accounts for 60-70% of all cases of people with Dementia. According to 2022 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, it’s estimated that at least 6.5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s Dementia.
To learn more on the sure signs that you or your loved one may be having or is about to have Dementia, please read on.
7 TELLTALE SIGNS OF DEMENTIA
Below are some of the sure signs of Dementia that you shouldn’t ignore
#1. DIFFICULTY IN PERFORMING EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES OR TASKS
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, people with Dementia may progressively find it difficult to perform their routine or everyday tasks, such as keeping track of their monthly bills or correctly executing a cooking recipe. It’s also possible for an individual with Dementia to be unable to finish a task completely, take more time to complete it, and even be unable to concentrate on a given activity or task.
#2. OVER REPETITION
The Cleveland Clinic states that another common indicator that one may be having mild or moderate Alzheimer’s Dementia is the tendency to ask a single question uncountable times or tell the same story about a current event numerous times.
#3. DIFFICULTY IN HOLDING A MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION(S)
Suppose you notice that your loved one is finding it difficult to hold meaningful conversations, follow along with conversations, or struggle to think of words or names of obvious objects. Then, the chances are that they may be experiencing Dementia.
#4. GETTING LOST IN FAMILIAR PLACES
According to the Mayo Clinic, individuals with Dementia most often have difficulty with visual and spatial ability. This symptom prompts them to get lost even in familiar places or locations.
#5. NOTABLE PERSONALITY CHANGES
Suppose you notice that a loved one has drastically had notable personality changes such as heightened anxiety, suspicion and fear, confusion, and gets easily upset, without an unexplainable cause. In that case, the chances are that they may have Dementia.
#6. NOT ORIENTED TO TIME AND PLACE
Inability to know how one got to a place or what day of the week is is another alarming sign of Dementia. Jason Karlawish, an M.D and a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and co-director of the Penn Memory Center, states that, and I quote, ‘routinely forgetting what day of the week it is, is another indicator that an individual has Dementia.’
#7. CONCERNING BEHAVIORS
Suppose you notice that a loved one is neglecting their personal hygiene or is increasingly making poor financial decisions without reason. In that case, it’s safe to assume that they may be having Dementia.
HOW DO DOCTORS DIAGNOSE DEMENTIA?
Below are some of the conventional ways through which certified doctors diagnose dementia;
• Blood and fluid lab tests-helps to rule out non dementia causes
• Brain medical imaging such as performing a CT scan, MRI, or a PET
• Genetic testing-to establish whether it’s heritable. Performed mostly when an individual is below 60 years of age
• Cognitive and neuropsychological tests
WHERE CAN YOU FIND HELP FOR DEMENTIA?
If you or your loved one has any of the signs mentioned above of Dementia, it’s recommended that you seek the help of a neurologist, geriatrician, or geriatric psychiatrist. And in case you find it difficult to find any of the above specialists, then the National Institute on Aging recommends that you at least contact a neurology department of a certified medical school.
You may also get in touch with Palm Beach Research Center for an ethical clinical trial for people with Alzheimer’s disease. To learn more about us, please visit our official website, palmbeachresearch.com.