Saturday, March 25, 2023
HomeExclusiveHow To Know If You Have Dementia Or Alzheimer's

How To Know If You Have Dementia Or Alzheimer’s

Can Dementia Be Prevented

How Do You Know If You Have Alzheimer Disease

No known way to prevent irreversible dementia or even many types of reversible dementia exists. The following may help prevent certain types of dementia:

  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, moderate use of alcohol, and no smoking or substance abuse
  • Taking precautions to prevent infections
  • Using protective equipment such as a seat belt or motorcycle helmet to prevent head injury

The following may allow early treatment and at least partial reversal of dementia:

  • Being alert for symptoms and signs that suggest dementia
  • Early recognition of underlying medical conditions, such as hypoxia, HIV infection, low glucose levels, or low sodium levels

Warning Signs Of Alzheimer’s

Memory often changes as people grow older. Some people notice changes in themselves before anyone else does. For other people, friends and family are the first to see changes in memory, behavior, or abilities. Memory loss that disrupts daily life is not a typical part of aging. People with one or more of these 10 warning signs should see a doctor to find the cause. Early diagnosis gives them a chance to seek treatment and plan for the future.

1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life: forgetting events, repeating yourself or relying on more aids to help you remember .

2.Challenges in planning or solving problems: having trouble paying bills or cooking recipes you have used for years.

3.Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or at leisure: having problems with cooking, driving places, using a cell phone, or shopping.

4.Confusion with time or place: having trouble understanding an event that is happening later, or losing track of dates.

5.Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relations: having more difficulty with balance or judging distance, tripping over things at home, or spilling or dropping things more often.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alzheimers Association have created the Healthy Brain Initiatives State and Local Public Health Partnerships to Address Dementia: The 2018-2023 Road Map.

8. being a victim of a scam, not managing money well, paying less attention to hygiene, or having trouble taking care of a pet.

Are Early Signs Of Dementia Obvious

Changes in a person in the early stages of dementia can be so gradual they can often be mistaken for normal ageing. Because dementia affects people in different ways, symptoms may not always be obvious. In fact, failure to recognise early signs often leads to people not being diagnosed for several years.

So what to look for? Perhaps someone you care for is struggling to remember what they did yesterday and forgets the names of friends or everyday objects. They may have difficulty following conversations or TV programmes, repeat things over and over, or have problems thinking or reasoning. They may feel angry, anxious or depressed about memory loss or feel confused even in a familiar environment.

The healthtalk website presents a range of carers experiences of identifying the early signs of dementia. One carer put it this way.

The first stage is not recognisable I think, or certainly wasnt recognisable as far as I was concerned initially . I was certainly not understanding… the fact that my wife was at the beginning of a serious problem, a serious mental health problem. Because I was with my wife continuously, I think I was less likely to recognise some of the changes that were taking place than people who saw her less regularly.

You May Like: What Color Ribbon Is Alzheimer’s

Do Not Ask Your Parent To Remember Something

As you carry on this challenging conversation, you might tend to ask your parent if they remember a person or event. Keep in mind that they are in the throes of dementia and do not remember things as they once did. All you would accomplish by asking them to remember something is to embarrass or frustrate them.

Can Dementia Be Inappropriately Diagnosed In A Single Visit

Understanding Dementia

Sadly, yes. Although its common for doctors to never diagnose dementia at all in people who have it, I have also come across several instances of busy doctors rattling off a dementia diagnosis, without adequately documenting how they reached this conclusion.

Now, often these doctors are right. Dementia becomes common as people age, so if a family complains of memory problems and paranoia in an 89 year old, chances are quite high that the older person has dementia.

But sometimes its not. Sometimes its slowly resolving delirium along with a brain-clouding medication. Sometimes its depression.

It is a major thing to diagnose someone with dementia. So although its not possible for an average doctor to evaluate with as much detail as the memory clinic does, its important to document consideration of the five essential features as listed above.

Don’t Miss: What Color Is The Alzheimer’s Ribbon

What Other Factors Have Contributed To Eco

The apocalyptic nature of climate-change-induced-devastation has been a cause of concern among people, especially the youth. However, what has also contributed to eco-anxiety among many other things is the rank indifference of those in influential and powerful positions.

A 10-country survey, involving 10,000 respondents between the ages of 16 and 25, was conducted by Englands Bath University in collaboration with five universities, with funding from US non-profit organisation Avaaz. Released in September 2021, it revealed that the startling condition of eco-anxiety among the young population was as much a result of governmental inaction on climate change as it was from the degradation of nature.

An overwhelming majority of around 75-83 percent painted a grim picture of the future to varying degrees with some even considering not having children. When asked if the governments have failed young people and if they can be trusted, 65 percent agreed with the former question and only 31 percent with the latter.

The studys lead author Caroline Hickman told BBC News, The young feel abandoned and betrayed by governments. Were not just measuring how they feel, but what they think. Four out of 10 are hesitant to have children.

On 28 September, 2021, a few days after the results of the survey was published, iconic climate change activist Greta Thunberg vehemently criticised those not taking concrete steps to reverse the damage done to the environment.

The Seven Stages Of Dementia

One of the most difficult things to hear about dementia is that, in most cases, dementia is irreversible and incurable. However, with an early diagnosis and proper care, the progression of some forms of dementia can be managed and slowed down. The cognitive decline that accompanies dementia conditions does not happen all at once – the progression of dementia can be divided into seven distinct, identifiable stages.

Learning about the stages of dementia can help with identifying signs and symptoms early on, as well as assisting sufferers and caretakers in knowing what to expect in further stages. The earlier dementia is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can start.

Don’t Miss: What Color Ribbon Is Alzheimer’s

Plan Specific Ways To Start The Conversation

Use these conversation starters:

  • Ive been thinking through my own long-term care plans lately and I was wondering if you have any advanced planning tips for me?
  • I was wondering if youve noticed the same changes in your behavior that Ive noticed?
  • Would you want to know if I noticed any concerning changes in your behavior?

Signs Of Mild Alzheimers Disease

Should you remind someone they have dementia?

In mild Alzheimers disease, a person may seem to be healthy but has more and more trouble making sense of the world around him or her. The realization that something is wrong often comes gradually to the person and his or her family. Problems can include:

  • Memory loss
  • Poor judgment leading to bad decisions
  • Loss of spontaneity and sense of initiative
  • Taking longer to complete normal daily tasks
  • Repeating questions
  • Increased sleeping
  • Loss of bowel and bladder control

A common cause of death for people with Alzheimers disease is aspiration pneumonia. This type of pneumonia develops when a person cannot swallow properly and takes food or liquids into the lungs instead of air.

There is currently no cure for Alzheimers, though there are medicines that can treat the symptoms of the disease.

Read Also: Do Sleeping Pills Cause Dementia

What Diagnosis Falls Under Alzheimers Disease

Alzheimers disease is a diagnosis in itself. When it is noticeable clinically and identified early on, the formal diagnosis may be Mild Cognitive Impairment due to Alzheimers disease which may later develop into a diagnosis of dementia due to Alzheimers disease.

  • Alzheimers Association. Stages of Alzheimers. Accessed May 27, 2021.
  • National Institute on Aging. Alzheimers Disease Fact Sheet. Content reviewed May 2019. Accessed May 27, 2021.
  • Alzheimers Or Senior Moments

    We can all have a bad day, but theres definitely a difference between a minor episode or two compared to frequent issues with the following:

    • Brain freeze: Forgetting the rules of a game, losing your train of thought or forgetting where youre going are part of normal human experience, but the frequency and severity of these episodes can foreshadow a problem
    • Confusion: Forgetting an appointment is normal, but forgetting the appointment location or how to get there can signal a warning
    • Losing things: Weve all misplaced our keys, but misplacing objects on a daily basis may be cause for concern

    Donât Miss: Alzheimerâs Purple Color Code

    Also Check: Senility Vs Alzheimer’s

    How Is Alzheimers Disease Diagnosed

    Doctors use several methods and tools to help determine whether a person who is having memory problems has possible Alzheimers dementia , probable Alzheimers dementia , or some other problem.

    To diagnose Alzheimers, doctors may:

    • Ask the person and a family member or friend questions about overall health, use of prescription and over-the-counter medicines, diet, past medical problems, ability to carry out daily activities, and changes in behavior and personality
    • Conduct tests of memory, problem solving, attention, counting, and language
    • Carry out standard medical tests, such as blood and urine tests, to identify other possible causes of the problem
    • Perform brain scans, such as computed tomography , magnetic resonance imaging , or positron emission tomography , to rule out other possible causes for symptoms

    These tests may be repeated to give doctors information about how the persons memory and other cognitive functions are changing over time. They can also help diagnose other causes of memory problems, such as stroke, tumor, Parkinsons disease, sleep disturbances, side effects of medication, an infection, mild cognitive impairment, or a non-Alzheimers dementia, including vascular dementia. Some of these conditions may be treatable and possibly reversible.

    People with memory problems should return to the doctor every 6 to 12 months.

    First Signs Of Alzheimers Disease

    What is it like to suffer from dementia?

    The earliest symptomatic stage is called mild cognitive impairment, says Dr. Caselli. Early signs include:

    • Memory loss that disrupts daily life
    • Challenges in planning or solving problems
    • Difficulty completing familiar tasks
    • New problems with words in speaking or writing
    • Misplacing items and an inability to retrace steps
    • Changes in mood and personality

    You May Like: What Shampoos Cause Alzheimer’s Disease And Cancer

    Can You Get Life Insurance If You Have Alzheimers Or Dementia

    Most life insurance applications have health questions, and in those situations, anyone with Alzheimerâs Disease or dementia would not be able to qualify.

    However, there are life insurances that are Guaranteed Issue , which means you could get them without answering any health questions.

    These plans tend to be more expensive, which is why planning ahead and purchasing insurance plans before you have any serious medical conditions is so important.

    Struggling To Adapt To Change

    For someone in the early stages of dementia, the experience can cause fear. Suddenly, they cant remember people they know or follow what others are saying. They cant remember why they went to the store, and they get lost on the way home.

    Because of this, they might crave routine and be afraid to try new experiences. Difficulty adapting to change is also a typical symptom of early dementia.

    Also Check: What Color Ribbon Is Alzheimer’s

    Detecting Alzheimers Gets Easier With A Simple Blood Test

    New assays could reduce the need for costlier, more invasive brain scans and spinal fluid measures

    When a patient complains of forgetfulness, a neurologist might not know immediately whether it results from normal aging, reduced blood flow to the brainor, more ominously, Alzheimers disease. For much of the past century, a definitive Alzheimers diagnosis could only be made during an autopsy. Brain imaging and spinal fluid tests now make it possible to spot the disease in patients even before the initial symptoms appear. But these invasive tests are expensive and generally limited to research settings that are not part of routine care for the millions of people suffering from the most common neurodegenerative disorder.

    An era in which an Alzheimers diagnosis can begin in a doctors office is now arriving. Advances in technologies to detect early signs of disease from a blood sample are helping doctors to identify the memory-robbing disorder more accurately and to screen participants more quickly for trials of potential treatments for the more than five million people in the U.S. afflicted with Alzheimers.

    The development of a blood-based test for Alzheimers disease is just phenomenal, says Michelle Mielke, a neuroscientist and epidemiologist at the Mayo Clinic. The field has been thinking about this for a very long time. Its really been in the last couple of years that the possibility has come to fruition.

    Recommended Reading: What Color Ribbon Is Alzheimerâs

    Identifying The Stages Of Alzheimers

    MCI v. dementia: How can you tell?
  • 1Watch for mild decline stages. The early stages of Alzheimers may see only a minor decline in cognition or change in personality. It will be more difficult to decisively determine the person has Alzheimers but there are still some basic signs to look for. Ultimately, youll need a CTE scan from a doctor to confirm.XTrustworthy SourceAlzheimer’s AssociationNonprofit organizaton focused on supporting those affected by Alzheimer’s and promoting research on the diseaseGo to source
  • Look for a tendency to fumble over words, trouble remembering names, gaps in short-term memory, and trouble organizing thoughts.
  • 2Look for moderate decline stages. The middle stages of Alzheimers usually last the longest and will require some level of assistance to care for the person. Periods of anger, odd behavior, and changes in their hygiene or appearance usually occur. Their forgetfulness will likely start to extend from short-term memory into longer-term aspects of their personal history. There may also be troubles with bladder and bowel control.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • You May Like: Alzheimer Vs Dementia Vs Senility

    Dementia Vs Alzheimer’s: Symptoms

    The early signs of dementia are usually not so evident and can be considered as mild. A person experiences symptoms like forgetfulness, where they find it difficult to keep track of time or forgets their way to a frequently visited place.

    As the condition progresses, they tend to be more forgetful and confused wherein they may start to forget the face and names of their loved ones. The behaviour continues to change and might result in depression or aggression.

    Is Your Memory Slipping

    We all forget things sometimes, especially when life gets busy. You may start to notice this happening more often as you get older. Mild memory loss can be a normal part of aging. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to have dementia. Only 1% of people over age 65 with normal age-related memory issues will get dementia each year.

    Recommended Reading: Alzheimers Awareness Color

    Know The Signs Of Dementia

    Early diagnosis can help people with dementia plan for the future, and might mean they can access interventions that help slow down the disease. Being familiar with the signs of dementia can help people receive a diagnosis as early as possible.

    Early signs that a person might have dementia can include:

    • being vague in everyday conversations
    • memory loss that affects day-to-day function
    • short term memory loss
    • difficulty performing everyday tasks and taking longer to do routine tasks
    • losing enthusiasm or interest in regular activities
    • difficulties in thinking or saying the right words
    • changes in personality or behaviour
    • finding it difficult to follow instructions
    • finding it difficult to follow stories
    • increased emotional unpredictability.

    How To Spot Early Indicators That Your Loved One May Have Alzheimers Or Dementia

    Preventing Alzheimer

    by Patrick J. Kiger, AARP, Updated May 4, 2021| 0

    En español | From age 50 on, its not unusual to have occasional trouble finding the right word or remembering where you put things.

    But persistent difficulty with memory, cognition and ability to perform everyday tasks might be signs that something more serious is happening to a loved ones brain.

    Dementia isnt actually a disease, according to the Mayo Clinic. Its a catch-all term for changes in the brain that cause a loss of functioning that interferes with daily life. Dementia can diminish focus, the ability to pay attention, language skills, problem-solving and visual perception. It also can make it difficult for a person to control his or her emotions and lead to personality changes.

    More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimers dementia, according to a 2021 report by the Alzheimers Association. Alzheimers disease is the leading cause of dementia, accounting for 60 percent to 70 percent of cases, but a range of brain illnesses can lead to the condition .

    Diseases that cause dementia

    These conditions are the leading causes of dementia. Many patients have mixed dementia, a combination of two or more types, such as Alzheimers and vascular dementia.

    Vascular dementia. The second most common type of dementia is caused from damage to the vessels that supply blood to the brain. It tends to affect focus, organization, problem-solving and speed of thinking more noticeably than memory.

    Don’t Miss: Are Jigsaw Puzzles Good For Dementia

    Stage : Age Associated Memory Impairment

    This stage features occasional lapses of memory most frequently seen in:

    • Forgetting where one has placed an object
    • Forgetting names that were once very familiar

    Oftentimes, this mild decline in memory is merely normal age-related cognitive decline, but it can also be one of the earliest signs of degenerative dementia. At this stage, signs are still virtually undetectable through clinical testing. Concern for early onset of dementia should arise with respect to other symptoms.


    Most Popular