Dementia is a symptom that can indicate a number of alarming ailments. Alzheimer and dementia are not the same; rather, dementia is the major symptom of this terrible disease, an umbrella term that encompasses a lot of conditions. No matter what causes dementia, the most important thing is to catch the early signs of it, so without further ado, here are important things you need to know about the early signs of dementia.
Overview of the problem
In practice, the onset of dementia is reflected in noticeable impairments when it comes to memory, thought patterns, communication skills and it often involves volatile mood swings. Memory issue is a primary symptom, but not every memory problem means that you have an early onset dementia. It has to be paired up with at least one additional impairment that interferes with an everyday life of the afflicted. These impairments are communication problems, focus issues, reasoning disabilities and language impairments. Each of these coupled with memory loss are a problem that should be addressed with the medical expert, but dementia can actually include all of them.
Diligent medical observation is crucial
Subjects with an onset dementia will not only manifest symptoms, they can also become a liability to themselves or immediate family members, depending on the severity of the condition and the prognosis. This is why diligent medical observation is crucial. Furthermore, these individuals will need a constant and dedicated care, and most family members cannot fulfill this role to a satisfying degree because of work-related obligations. In such a situation, and if the patient in question is an elder, the best course of action is to apply for the best aged care facilities which can provide ample medical observation and appropriate care.
The mood factor
While “performance” issues when it comes to cognitive abilities tend to be in the forefront of most discussions related to dementia, mood is actually a significant contributor to the clinical makeup. Volatile mood fluctuations are a common symptom of dementia and they are usually one of the most glaring things you’ll notice in subjects that surround you. Depression is the typical sign, along with some dubious shifts in personality. In other words, these shifts depend heavily on the type of personality someone has had before dementia and they can vary significantly from individual to individual. For example, a shy person can become outgoing and vice versa.
Timing is of the essence
Forgetfulness is the normal part of aging process but if the symptoms of memory loss, listlessness and fatigue tend to be prolonged and accentuated, the doctor should be contacted immediately – timing is of the essence. The time interval needed to do conclusive tests has to be taken into consideration. Some of these tests include exhausting sets of mental and memory tests, neurological exams, brain scans as well as blood tests. The most common causes of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, brain damage, Huntington’s disease, frontotemporal and Lewy body dementia.
Can it be prevented?
Dementia can come suddenly and without warning. There is a chaotic nature to the illnesses it signifies but, by applying certain lifestyle changes, you can increase your odds of never getting any of these conditions. Still, do not expect a 100% guarantee, as such illnesses tend to be caused by a number of cumulative and unpredictable factors. Regular physical exercise is the main contributor to overall health, including the mental one, play mind and memory games, read a lot and make sure you satisfy the required intake of omega-3 fatty acids, fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains. Adhering to these habits will give you the best odds one can hope for.
A slow decrease in memory efficiency as well as hindrances in terms of reasoning skills and thinking patterns do not have to be signs of dementia. As a matter of fact, in many cases they are nothing more than indicators that you need to slow down and reduce stress. However, if the aforementioned factors pile up, it might mean that you should see a medical professional about the symptoms. Detecting dementia early can mean a world of difference for your life longevity and, indeed, quality.