Stage : Mild Cognitive Impairment
Clear cognitive problems begin to manifest in stage 3. A few signs of stage 3 dementia include:
- Getting lost easily
- Noticeably poor performance at work
- Forgetting the names of family members and close friends
- Difficulty retaining information read in a book or passage
- Losing or misplacing important objects
- Difficulty concentrating
Patients often start to experience mild to moderate anxiety as these symptoms increasingly interfere with day to day life. Patients who may be in this stage of dementia are encouraged to have a clinical interview with a clinician for proper diagnosis.
Is Repeating Yourself A Sign Of Dementia
What does it mean when a person keeps repeating themselves? It may be a sign of dementia, though it hinges significantly on the context of the situation.
When were talking about a senior who repeats the same stories at family gatherings, thats probably not a sign of dementia. Rather, its the seniors way of contemplating their legacy and important life lessons through the sharing of meaningful experiences.
In other words, when your father tells the same WWII story every time the grandkids are gathered around the fireplace, its his way of searching his memories for meaning and sharing those life lessons to secure his legacy with future generations.
After all, we all want to be remembered and leave a mark in the world especially with our friends and family.
However, if a senior continues to repeat themselves in a single day perhaps telling you for the fifth time that they saw an old friend yesterday, or reminding you over and over that they have a doctors appointment tomorrow that could be a sign of short-term memory problems that may be associated with early-stage dementia.
In such cases, its important to evaluate this potential symptom in conjunction with the other 10 signs of dementia. You cant make a diagnosis on this fact alone as memory loss is an expected part of aging and senility, but it could be an important piece of the overall puzzle.
How Do I Know If My Parent Has Dementia
To determine whether your loved one may be at risk for Alzheimers disease or dementia, consider the following 10 warning signs of dementia:
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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.
Inappropriate Behavior And Loss Of Empathy
If someone who is usually sweet, considerate, and polite starts to say insulting or inappropriate things and shows no awareness of their inappropriateness or concern or regret about what theyve said they could be exhibiting an early sign of dementia. In the early stages of some types of dementia, symptoms can include losing the ability to read social cues and, therefore, the ability to understand why its not acceptable to say hurtful things.
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You May Experience A Change In Mood Or Interests
In one of the more disturbing threads of the recent film The Father, about a gentleman who has dementia, the man veers from charming and loquacious to quiet and sullen to bursting with red-faced anger, depending on the day, and depending, sometimes, on the hour. This is common, as the stress of forgetting life’s simplicities would lead anyone to run the emotional gamut. If you feel any of these symptoms are happening to you, feel no shame instead, simply reach out to a medical professional for a diagnostic test. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.
Not Understanding What Objects Are Used For
Now and again, most people find themselves desperately searching for the right word. In fact, failing to find the word you are thinking of is surprisingly common and not necessarily a sign of dementia, says Rankin. But losing knowledge of objects not just what they are called, but also what they are used for is an early dementia symptom. Oddly enough, people who are losing this knowledge can be very competent in other areas of their lives.
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Dementia Signs And Symptoms
A long list of symptoms is associated with dementia, but many overlap with other health conditions, meaning that having some of them does not confirm that an individual is cognitively impaired.
That said, dont hesitate to consult a healthcare provider if you or a loved one is showing signs of dementia, which can be cognitive or psychological in nature:
- Trouble remembering new information
- Exhibiting signs of paranoia
- Exercising poor judgment
Not everyone will notice these symptoms right away, and a checklist alone cant determine if a person has a dementia-related disorder. In fact, not even a test can do so.
What Are Potentially Treatable Causes Of Dementia
The dementia in treatable conditions may be reversible or partially reversible, even if the underlying disease or damage is not. However, readers should note that if underlying brain damage is extensive or severe, these causes may be classified as irreversible by the individual’s physician.
There is no specific test for dementia. However, dementia may be diagnosed if at least two of the following core mental functions are significantly impaired, according to some researchers:
- Attentiveness/focus on a problem or subject
- Visual perception
In some people, the signs and symptoms of dementia are easily recognized in others, they can be very subtle. A careful and thorough evaluation is needed to identify their true cause.
An assessment of dementia symptoms should include a mental status evaluation. This evaluation uses various “pencil and paper,””talking,” and physical tests to identify brain dysfunction. A more thorough type of testing, performed by a psychologist, is called neuropsychologic testing.
Lab tests may be used to identify or rule out possible causes of dementia.
In some cases, imaging studies of the brain may be necessary to detect conditions such as normal pressure hydrocephalus, brain tumor, or infarction or bleeding in the brain.
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Lifestyle Changes To Improve Vascular Dementia Symptoms
A diagnosis of dementia is scary. But its important to remember that many people with dementia can lead healthy, fulfilling lives for years after the diagnosis. Dont give up on life! As much as possible, continue to look after your physical and emotional health, do the things you love to do, and spend time with family and friends.
The same strategies used to keep your brain healthy as you age and prevent the onset of dementia can also be used to improve symptoms.
Find new ways to get moving. Research suggests that even a leisurely 30-minute walk every day may reduce the risk of vascular dementia and help slow its progression. Regular exercise can also help control your weight, relieve stress, and boost your overall health and happiness.
Create a network of support. Seeking help and encouragement from friends, family, health care experts, and support groups can improve your outlook and your health. And its never to late to make new friends and expand your network.
Eat for heart health. Heart disease and stroke share many of the same risk factors, such as high LDL cholesterol , low HDL cholesterol , and high blood pressure. Adopting a heart-healthy diet may help to improve or slow down your dementia symptoms.
Make it a point to have more fun.Laughing, playing, and enjoying yourself are great ways to reduce stress and worry. Joy can energize you and inspire lifestyle changes that may prevent further strokes and compensate for memory and cognitive losses.
An Increase In Compulsive Ritualistic Behaviors
One sign of dementia that most people dont expect is the need to complete extreme rituals or compulsive behaviors. Plenty of people have odd habits and like things done a certain way, says Rankin. But while these habits are within the realm of normal, extreme hoarding or detailed rituals or compulsions, such as buying a crossword puzzle book every time they go to the store even if they have hundreds of them, can be dementia symptoms.
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What Medications Treat Dementia Symptoms
Dementia treatment focuses on correcting all reversible factors and slowing irreversible factors. Some of the important drug treatment strategies in dementia are described. Except for the cholinesterase inhibitors, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved any drug specifically for dementia. The drugs listed here are some of the most frequently prescribed from each class.
Slowing the progression of dementia
Dementia due to some conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, can sometimes be slowed in the early-to-intermediate stages with medication. Many different types of medications have been or are being tried in dementia. The medications that have worked the best so far are the cholinesterase inhibitors.
Because depression is so common in people with dementia, treatment of depression can at least partially relieve symptoms.
- Depression is usually treated with any of a group of drugs known as antidepressants.
- The most important of these are the drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , for example, Fluoxetine , sertraline , paroxetine , citalopram .
- Stimulant drugs such as methylphenidate may sometimes be used to treat depression in people with dementia.
- Some of the medications that treat depression also help with anxiety.
Correcting drug doses and/or withdrawing misused drugs
What Causes Alzheimer’s Disease Dementia
The symptoms of Alzheimers disease dementia occur when brain cells malfunction in memory-related parts of the brain due to the accumulation of abnormal proteins. Alzheimers disease dementia is most commonly caused by Alzheimers disease neuropathology. A diagnosis of Alzheimers disease neuropathology is made when two abnormal proteins called amyloid and tau accumulate in the brain. These proteins accumulate in and around brain cells, which gradually damages and impairs their function.
The neuropathologic diagnosis of AD can only be definitively determined at autopsy through examination of brain tissue with a microscope. However, scientists are working to identify biomarkers that can be used to make the diagnosis during life. Specialized brain scans using positron emission tomography and examination of cerebral spinal fluid , obtained through lumbar puncture, are two biomarkers currently being investigated to assist with determining the neuropathologic diagnosis. Scientists are working to identify additional reliable biomarkers, including detecting markers of the disease using blood samples.
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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.
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.
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Disregarding The Law And Other Social Norms
Some people with dementia lose their sense of social norms. Shoplifting breaking into someones house inappropriate interpersonal behaviors, such as sexual comments or actions and even criminal behavior, according to a study published in March 2015 in the journal JAMA Neurology, all make the list of surprising dementia symptoms. This could lead to trouble with the law, too: Early-onset dementia can hit people as early as their thirties and forties, well before anyone around them would consider their out-of-character behavior as a sign of dementia.
Having A Hard Time Managing Money
One of the classic early signs of Alzheimers disease is an increasing difficulty with money management. This might start off as having trouble balancing a checkbook or keeping up with expenses or bills, but as the disease progresses, poor financial decisions are often made across the board. Though many people brush this symptom off as just a normal part of aging, they shouldnt. We tend to associate aging with losing your mind. Thats not healthy aging its a disease, emphasizes Rankin.
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You Bought Things You Have No Memory Of Buying
Tales of folks with dementia ordering Amazon packagesor in one case, a carand having no memory doing so is becoming more common now that purchases are a click away. This kind of errant spending can be a sign of money issues in general. “In time, it may become apparent to a carer that, even with support, the person with dementia is struggling to cope,” says the Alzheimer’s Association. “For example, they may fail to understand what needs to be paid, overpay for some things, or leave money unaccounted for.”
What To Do If You Fear You Have Dementia
Contact a medical professional if you’re in need of help. “A healthcare provider can perform tests on attention, memory, problem solving and other cognitive abilities to see if there is cause for concern,” says the CDC. “A physical exam, blood tests, and brain scans like a CT or MRI can help determine an underlying cause.” So see your doctor, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.
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Vascular Dementia Signs And Symptoms
Vascular dementia affects different people in different ways and the speed of the progression also varies from person to person. Some symptoms may be similar to those of other types of dementia and usually reflect increasing difficulty to perform everyday activities like eating, dressing, or shopping.
Behavioral and physical symptoms can come on dramatically or very gradually, although it appears that a prolonged period of TIAsthe mini-strokes discussed aboveleads to a gradual decline in memory, whereas a bigger stroke can produce profound symptoms immediately. Regardless of the rate of appearance, vascular dementia typically progresses in a stepwise fashion, where lapses in memory and reasoning abilities are followed by periods of stability, only to give way to further decline.
|Common Signs and Symptoms of Vascular Dementia|
|Mental and Emotional Signs and Symptoms|
Symptoms In The Later Stages Of Dementia
As dementia progresses, memory loss and difficulties with communication often become severe. In the later stages, the person is likely to neglect their own health, and require constant care and attention.
The most common symptoms of advanced dementia include:
- memory problems people may not recognise close family and friends, or remember where they live or where they are
- communication problems some people may eventually lose the ability to speak altogether. Using non-verbal means of communication, such as facial expressions, touch and gestures, can help
- mobility problems many people become less able to move about unaided. Some may eventually become unable to walk and require a wheelchair or be confined to bed
- behavioural problems a significant number of people will develop what are known as “behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia”. These may include increased agitation, depressive symptoms, anxiety, wandering, aggression, or sometimes hallucinations
- bladder incontinence is common in the later stages of dementia, and some people will also experience bowel incontinence
- appetite and weight loss problems are both common in advanced dementia. Many people have trouble eating or swallowing, and this can lead to choking, chest infections and other problems. Alzheimer’s Society has a useful factsheet on eating and drinking
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