Difficulty Finding The Right Words
Another early symptom of dementia is struggling to communicate thoughts. A person with dementia may have difficulty explaining something or finding the right words to express themselves. Having a conversation with a person who has dementia can be difficult, and it may take longer than usual to conclude.
Dementia Associated With Hiv
HIV is an infection that weakens the immune system, decreasing the ability of the body to fight infections and diseases. HIV infection can affect the brain in up to half of people with HIV. The effects on the brain result in mild cognitive complaints and dementia. Cognitive impairment is common in HIV but dementia is much rarer. Before the use of antiretroviral drugs, around 20-30 per cent of people with advanced HIV infection developed dementia. This has now decreased to around 2 per cent.
Neurocognitive impairment in people with HIV may be caused by the virus directly damaging the brain or could be the result of a weakened immune system enabling infections and cancers to attack the brain.
Symptoms may include problems with short-term memory, language and thinking, difficulties with concentration and decision making, unsteadiness, mood changes and hallucinations. People may also have problems with their sense of smell. Some people may experience only mild cognitive impairment such as a decline in the ability to think quickly or clearly.
HIV is easily overlooked as a possible cause of dementia and, even when someone is known to have HIV infection, cognitive impairment can sometimes be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are similar to those of other conditions such as depression.
Are There Strategies To Overcome Extreme Clumsiness
Awareness is of course the most important weapon against clumsiness, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. The best thing to do is make sure that you’re using strategies that make it harder for you to focus on your anxieties, so that being clumsy is less likely. For example:
These are some basic strategies that can improve your clumsiness. Exercise may also have added benefits for coordination, in the event that you are a slightly naturally uncoordinated person. Ultimately, the way that you manage this is up to you – but remember that reducing your anxiety is likely to improve your quality of life and may have the added benefit of making you less clumsy.
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Symptoms Specific To Dementia With Lewy Bodies
Dementia with Lewy bodies has many of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and people with the condition typically also experience:
- periods of being alert or drowsy, or fluctuating levels of confusion
- visual hallucinations
- becoming slower in their physical movements
- repeated falls and fainting
Read more about dementia with Lewy bodies.
Difficulty Completing Normal Tasks
A subtle shift in the ability to complete normal tasks may indicate that someone has early dementia. This usually starts with difficulty doing more complex tasks like balancing a checkbook or playing games that have a lot of rules.
Along with the struggle to complete familiar tasks, they may struggle to learn how to do new things or follow new routines.
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What Other Things Help
In addition to medications, there are various ways to help a person with vascular dementia. Research has shown that physical exercise and maintaining a healthy weight help to enhance brain health and reduce the risk of heart problems, stroke and other diseases that affect blood vessels. A balanced diet, enough sleep and limited alcohol intake are other important ways to promote good brain health and reduce the risk for heart disease. Other illnesses that affect the brain, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, should also be treated if present.
The Top 10 Signs Of Dementia And Alzheimer’s Disease
The key to managing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia is to catch it early. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease begin as long as 20 years before symptoms appear, so it pays to be on the lookout for any and all signs and symptoms.
Here are the top 10 warning signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease:
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What Are The Types Of Medication Used To Treat Symptoms
There is no cure for Alzheimers disease, but certain medications may help manage symptoms such as agitation, aggression, delusions, hallucinations, and sleep disturbances. Antipsychotic drugs such as haloperidol or risperidone , for example, are often used to treat delusions or paranoia. Another type of drug called a cholinesterase inhibitor may benefit people with Alzheimers disease or other forms of dementia by temporarily improving memory and mental function.
People with dementia may also benefit from treatment for depression, another common symptom. Depression causes people to lose interest in their favorite activities, feel sad or discouraged and sometimes develop extreme anxiety or anger. Antidepressant drugs such as fluoxetine , sertraline , and paroxetine may help.
What Happens In Vascular Dementia
Vascular dementia can cause different symptoms depending on where the blood vessels are damaged in the brain. For example, a person who had a stroke may have sudden problems with memory, balance, or speech. However, a person can have several strokes that may be unnoticeably small, but the damage can add up over time.
Many people with vascular dementia have trouble with memory. Others may have difficulty with organization and solving complex problems, slowed thinking, or being easily distracted. People with vascular dementia may also have changes in mood or behavior, such as irritability, loss of interest, or depression.
Sometimes, people with vascular dementia have trouble with balance and movement. This might include weakness on one side of the body, and the symptoms may get worse over time.
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Difficulty Completing Everyday Tasks
People with Alzheimers or other forms of dementia often find it hard to keep up with activities of daily living , housekeeping, and other responsibilities. This may lead to issues with:
- Driving to familiar locations
- Remembering their schedule, or the rules to a game
- Tracking a budget, or paying bills
- Remembering to cook or clean
- Increased clumsiness, falls, or mishaps
- Inability to keep up with simple math or logistics
What Is Batten Disease
Batten disease, otherwise known as Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses, is a fatal disorder that affects the nervous system.
The condition, which typically begins in childhood, can manifest itself in vision problems and seizures.
It can then worsen, with children suffering from cognitive impairment, worsening seizures, and progressive loss of sight and motor skills.
It is often fatal by late teens or early 20s.
According to BDFA UK, an estimated 1 3 children are diagnosed with an infantile form of the disease each year, meaning there are probably between 15 and 30 affected children in the UK.
There are other variations of the genetic disease, with 14 strains so far diagnosed.
There is currently no cure.
Know the signs
Parents may notice early symptoms including vision problems or seizures.
Some early signs can be subtle and include personality or behaviour changes like slow learning, clumsiness, or stumbling.
Symptoms get worse over time and might include cognitive impairment, worsening seizures, and progressive loss of sight and motor skills.
Later on in the disease, children become blind and get dementia and batten disease suffers will typically die by their late teens or twenties.
“When he was having seizures, he didn’t fit into a particular group for epilepsy which should have been our first warning sign but this wasn’t investigated.
The family have been told to expect decline for up to 12 months and then he should plateau for a while.
Mixing Up Time And Place
Since we already chatted about this earlier, it is worth adding it in its own paragraph. While everyone sometimes forgets about what day it is, even where they are going, it is not healthy if this starts happening regularly.
If that begins to occur TOO frequently, it could be one of the early signs of dementia.
Do observe the person as much as possible. Take them to the doctor as soon as possible if this new forgetfulness does not go away. Acting early enough and getting treatment before the condition progresses can alleviate it tremendously.
Also, if you happen to be the person who is sensing something weird happening to you, again, see the doctor or practitioner as soon as possible.
Symptoms Specific To Vascular Dementia
Vascular dementia is the second most common cause of dementia, after Alzheimer’s. Some people have both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, often called “mixed dementia”.
Symptoms of vascular dementia are similar to Alzheimer’s disease, although memory loss may not be as obvious in the early stages.
Symptoms can sometimes develop suddenly and quickly get worse, but they can also develop gradually over many months or years.
Specific symptoms can include:
- stroke-like symptoms: including muscle weakness or temporary paralysis on one side of the body
- movement problems difficulty walking or a change in the way a person walks
- thinking problems having difficulty with attention, planning and reasoning
- mood changes depression and a tendency to become more emotional
Read more about vascular dementia.
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Early Signs Of Dementia
There are a lot of different early signs of dementia for people to look out for. This is important because early symptoms can help to identify the problem much sooner, so that treatments can be put in place and so that care can be focused on what is really at risk. The first thing to bear in mind is that different types of dementia will manifest in different ways. It is sometimes hard for people to diagnose the condition simply because it is different in how the body functions. However, by paying close attention to the early symptoms of dementia, people can work towards getting a diagnosis much quicker.
There are 10 common early signs of dementia that a person may find useful to be aware of. The signs will vary in severity from one person to another, but they are important to note, nonetheless. For a normal person to get a diagnosis, they would likely experience at least two of these indicators, and each of these signs would normally be serious enough to disrupt their daily routine to some degree.
One of the most common signs is confusion. The person may become disoriented and seem as if they do not know where they are or why they are there. They may also show signs of fainting or even memory loss. Another early sign of confusion may involve a person getting uncomfortably tired and then suddenly becoming unable to sleep.
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Memory Loss That Affects Quality Of Life
While it is natural to occasionally forget names and details, and remember them later, dementia typically brings about issues with memory that disrupt your loved ones daily life. Be on the lookout and take note if your loved one:
- Has trouble retaining short term memories/new information
- Forgets important dates or events
- Repeats information or statements multiple times
- Relies very heavily on memory aids , instead of keeping track for themselves
Why Early Detection Can Be Difficult
Alzheimers disease usually is not diagnosed in the early stages, even in people who visit their primary care doctors with memory complaints.
- People and their families generally underreport the symptoms.
- They may confuse them with normal signs of aging.
- The symptoms may emerge so gradually that the person affected doesnt recognize them.
- The person may be aware of some symptoms but go to great lengths to conceal them.
Recognizing symptoms early is crucial because medication to control symptoms is most effective in the early stages of the disease and early diagnosis allows the individual and his or her family members to plan for the future. If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact a physician.
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Denial And Coping With Dementia
At first, denial can be a healthy defense against admitting that your loved one has dementia.
Denial involves not acknowledging what you see or hear and/or subconsciously ignoring what you see or hear. Denial helps you block the more painful aspects of reality. However, if denial continues too long, then it can be life-threatening to you and your loved one.
If you find yourself doing one or more of these things, you know youre in denial:
What Are The Types And Symptoms Of Ftd
In the early stages, it can be hard to know which type of FTD a person has because symptoms and the order in which they appear can vary from one person to another. Also, the same symptoms can appear across different disorders and vary from one stage of the disease to the next as different parts of the brain are affected.
Symptoms of FTD are often misunderstood. Family members and friends may think that a person is misbehaving, leading to anger and conflict. It is important to understand that people with these disorders cannot control their behaviors and other symptoms and lack any awareness of their illness.
There are three types of frontotemporal disorders : behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia , primary progressive aphasia , and movement disorders.
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What Can You Do About It
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 1 in 10 seniors over the age of 65 has dementia. Though the disease affects each patient differently, most people with Alzheimer’s live only 4 to 8 years after diagnosis.
While you cannot reverse dementia or the damage it causes, there are ways to improve quality of life. Here are some simple tips for management that you can discuss with your doctor:
- Take prescription medications to counteract cognitive and behavioral symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and mood swings.
- Find support in the form of therapy, support groups, friends, or family to help develop coping mechanisms for cognitive and behavioral changes.
- Address safety issues in the home by installing safety bars in the bathroom and shower, automatic shut-off switches on appliances, and reminders to lock the door.
- Stay on top of co-existing conditions, working with your doctor to manage medical problems with the proper form of treatment.
- Follow a healthy diet that supports brain health and function. Focus on antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, natural sources of omega fatty acids, and foods high in fiber and protein.
- Talk to your doctor about taking supplements to support memory and cognitive function. Options you might consider include caprylic acid, coenzyme Q10, ginkgo biloba, phosphatidylserine, and omega-3 fatty acids.
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Aimee added: “Its heartbreaking to watch. In his head he still wants to do these things but physically he cant.
“Before this, Isaac was so athletic so the only warning sign we had was his delayed speech in the beginning but that can be put down to a lot of other things. I was told, boys are lazy, hell catch up, which was so frustrating.
“I want more parents to know about Batten Disease and to be aware of early symptoms because if it had been diagnosed sooner, Isaac would be having a much greater quality of life than he does currently.
“The sooner children start treatment, the better.”
According to the BDFA , only four children are diagnosed with the juvenile form of Batten disease every year, making the disease rare and difficult to treat.
Now, Aimee is desperate to raise awareness of the condition as she says at times, she has even had to explain to doctors and other professions what the condition is.
“Everyone needs to be aware of this vile disease, it may be rare but it can affect anyone.
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