Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Dementia

Rather than being an actual disease, dementia is classified as a syndrome, which is a group of symptoms with no definitive diagnosis. These symptoms involve decreased ability in the areas of reasoning and memory. Dementia occurs due to injury or disease that affects the function and, sometimes, the structure of the brain. It can also result from multiple conditions that occur together. As it progresses, it can greatly impact the person’s ability to live an independent life.

Dementia can sometimes be effectively treated, depending on the underlying cause of the signs and symptoms. Medications can sometimes be helpful in treating behavioral changes, memory loss and sleep problems. There are also alternative treatments, such as fish or coconut oil, whose aim is to boost overall brain function and health. The easiest forms of dementia to treat are those caused by drug interactions, hypoglycemia, metabolic disorders, and tumors. Unfortunately, these forms are also extremely rare.

The prognosis for dementia depends entirely on the underlying cause. When a vascular problem, such as a stroke, is the cause there is usually more that can be done to reduce symptoms and prolong life, but it will, ultimately, shorten the lifespan.

The key to having the best prognosis possible following a diagnosis of dementia syndrome is to catch it as early as possible. To do so, it’s important to be able to recognize the earliest signs and symptoms when they first appear. This article should give you the tools you need to do so.

Signs of Dementia

Some of the first signs of dementia to appear include changes in mood or short-term memory. There might be signs of confusion, apathy or difficulty in retrieving words. Other early signs can include having difficulty in following a storyline or being repetitive in words or actions. The person will often develop a poor sense of direction as well. Often, dementia involves trouble adapting to changes. Some later signs that might occur with dementia includes loss of memory significant enough to disrupt daily life, trouble solving problems and difficulty in completing familiar tasks. Final signs can involve radical changes in personality and withdrawal from social or work activities. These later signs tend to lead to a gradual, self-imposed isolation from friends and family followed by loneliness and despair.