Wednesday, May 22, 2024
HomeIs Staring Into Space A Sign Of Dementia

Is Staring Into Space A Sign Of Dementia

The 8 Warning Signs Of Dementia

The Unspoken Impact of Dementia

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are eight main warning signs of dementia. These are applicable to all forms of dementia and involve memory, movement, and thinking.

  • Movement/Motor ControlOne of the most common symptoms of dementia is a decline in motor control. You will notice your loved one shaking much like a Parkinsons symptom, except they do not carry this diagnosis. You may notice their hands tremor or they shuffle when they walk, or walk much more slowly than usual.
  • HallucinationsVisual hallucinations are one of the most common early signs of dementia, and often one of the first signs to be aware of. While many times dementia leads to seeing items, people, or animals for example, that arent there, dementia may result in olfactory , auditory and tactile hallucinations as well.
  • Poorly Regulated Body FunctionsAs we grow older, dementia can also affect biological functions such as sweating, pulse, blood pressure and digestion. In one form of dementia, Lewy Body dementia , nerve cells in the brain are affected by Lewy bodies, which can affect parts of the brain that control bodily functions, causing symptoms like constipation.
  • Sleep ComplicationsThis is one of the least recognized signs of dementia because we tend to be sleeping during the time when our loved ones experience this symptom. In effect, REM disorder can lead to the acting out of dreams as they occur. This may result in sleepwalking and can pose a very real danger to the person suffering from dementia.
  • Dealing With Symptoms Of Dementia Safety And Comfort Above All Else

    One of the most common fears among families of older adults suffering from dementia is that they are doing something wrong, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy. No matter what they do or how hard they try, these symptoms seem to get progressively worse, and the agitation their loved one experiences just worsens their feelings of helplessness.

    This is something we often encounter when discussing whether or not American Orchards Senior Living Community is a good match for your loved one at this late stage of life. The first thing we would like you to know is that you are not doing anything wrong. Agitation, depression, and apathy are, as described above, common symptoms of dementia. Unless you are a trained professional, you can expect to be uncertain in dealing with the various issues that will arise.

    Since you understand that safety and your loved ones comfort are priorities, this is something you will surely want to discuss with our team members. We would like you to know that we understand how frightening new surroundings can be for individuals dealing with dementia, and it is our mission to make them feel right at home. Alongside safety, it is crucial that your loved one feels at ease in a memory care community.

    Just Because They Can’t Remember Your Name Doesn’t Mean You Aren’t Important To Them

    Dont take it personally. In the early stages, it might be your name that they cant recall. In the middle stages, it may be entire events that are gone and even if you retell the story, it might not come back to them. This is not because they dont care, it wasnt meaningful to them, or theyre somehow choosing to forget it. Its the disease.

    Don’t Miss: Alzheimer’s Neurotransmitters Affected

    Early Warning Signs That May Indicate Dementiado You Find Your Loved One Staring Off Into Space

    There are more than 50 million people around the world with dementia, and this number is expected to rise to 75 million by 2030, according to the organization Alzheimers Disease International.

    With more information than ever on the physiological processes of dementia and a vaccine ready for human trials, its important to know the early warning signs that your body will give you. Catching dementia early can give doctors the chance to prescribe therapies and changes to lifestyle and diet, which can be extremely helpful in managing the condition.

    Today, well look at seven indicators that can help you diagnose the onset of dementia.

    Reason : Eyesight Issues

    7 Early Warning Signs That May Indicate DementiaDo You ...

    A canines vision, like that of humans, generally deteriorates as it ages. But, unlike humans, you cant just throw a pair of goggles on your companion to fix things.

    Your older dog gazing at nothing is normal as hes getting older. This could be because it requires his time to fixate on an item in order to see it better. It might also be due to a medical disease affecting the eyes, such as:

    • Cataracts
    • Nuclear sclerosis
    • Glaucoma

    You must bring your canine to the vet if you are worried about his eyesight. In certain circumstances, such as cataracts, your veterinarian may be able to operate to assist enhance your pups vision.

    Don’t Miss: Dementia Ribbon Colour

    Sleeping More Or At Odd Hours

    Dogs sleep a lot, especially as they get older. And that’s OK. With dog dementia, though, you may notice that they sleep more often than usual or at odd hours. Or that they have a different sleep/wake cycle than usual.

    “It is important to pay attention to this since it can also be an early sign of CCDS,” Dr. Wilson says. “Some dogs will start to sleep more during the day and then be restless with increased wakefulness during the night either due to increased anxiety or decreased awareness of their regular routine.”

    Parkinsons Alzheimers And Lewy Body Dementia

    Since Lewy body dementia is commonly misdiagnosed for both Parkinsons and Alzheimers, it is helpful to understand how these diseases overlap.

    Overlapping symptoms of Parkinsons, Alzheimers, and Lewy body dementia
    Parkinsons and Lewy body dementia Alzheimers and Lewy body dementia
    Some of the motor symptoms found in bothParkinsons and Lewy body patients include:

    • tremors
    Some of the cognitive symptoms found in bothAlzheimers and Lewy bodys patients include:

    • behavioral changes

    Read Also: Prevagen For Dementia

    Signs And Symptoms Of Dementia

    In order for a person to be diagnosed with dementia, least two core mental functions must be significantly impaired. Symptoms of dementia include progressive difficulty with:

    • Memory, such as forgetting names of family members or regressing to childhood memories.
    • Communication and language, such as forgetting the word for everyday items.
    • Ability to focus and pay attention, such as spacing out or an inability to complete tasks.
    • Reasoning and judgment, such as going out in winter without a jacket or exhibiting behavior deemed inappropriate in the context of societal norms.
    • Visual perception, such as not being able to differentiate contrast, not detecting movement, or even trouble with orientation.

    Other early signs of dementia include changes in behavior, aggression, vision and hearing loss, hallucinations, wandering, sleep disturbances, or anxiety and depression. In the later stages of dementia, signs and symptoms include loss of the ability to communicate, severe memory impairment, difficulty completing the activities of daily living, weight loss, and loss of physical control over ones body.

    The Link To Parkinsons Disease

    Behavioral Challenges in Dementia With Lewy Bodies – pt 1

    Most people with Parkinsons disease have Lewy bodies in their brains. Its these clusters that cause some or all of the motor symptoms of Parkinsons disease, as well as memory or cognitive problems, visual hallucinations, and problems with alertness.

    We rarely know if a living patient has Lewy bodies with certainty, however. Its not until an autopsy that they can be seen, says Liana Rosenthal, M.D., assistant professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. If we see Lewy bodies in someones brain during an autopsy, thats considered a pathologic certainty of Parkinsons disease, she says.

    As with Parkinsons, Lewy body dementia is associated with a depletion of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. These are:

    • Dopamine: This neurotransmitter helps transmit signals that control muscle movement. When the accumulation of Lewy bodies blocks dopamines production and transmission, the result is the hallmark movement issues of Parkinsons disease.
    • Acetylcholine: This neurotransmitter does its work in the parts of the brain responsible for memory, thinking and processing. When Lewy bodies build up in these areas, they interfere with acetylcholine, causing symptoms of dementia.

    Don’t Miss: Quality Of Life Alzheimer’s Disease

    The Connection Between Alzheimer’s Disease And Silent Seizures

    Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine found that people had increased levels of a protein called deltaFosB in their hippocampus for about two weeks after a silent seizure. This protein is responsible for regulating other proteins, and researchers found that it suppressed the creation of another protein called calbindin.

    Calbindin is necessary for the creation of new memories, which is one of the things people with Alzheimers disease struggle with the most. The low level of calbindin means that people will have a harder time making and keeping memories. Researchers looked into supplementing calbindin levels in mice who had silent seizures and found that this practice can improve memory in animal models.

    Causes Of Spacing Out

    Generally, “spacing out” means that you are not in the moment, or that your mind is somewhere else. Daydreaming is the most common kind of spacing out. It is generally nothing to worry about. But there are more serious kinds of spacing out that can be caused by a medical condition.

    Here’s a list of the potential medical causes behind spacing out.

    Don’t Miss: Is Bobby Knight Still Alive

    Frequently Falling Mismanaging Their Money Or Staring Into Space Find Out If You Should Be Concerned About Alzheimers Disease Or Another Form Of Dementia

    Dementia does more than rob people of their memory research continues to show that this complicated condition is marked by a number of symptoms, especially at the onset. But theyre not always easy to recognize: From frequent falling to failing to recognize sarcasm, some of dementias early warning signs are subtle.

    How can you know if you or a loved one is showing signs of Alzheimers disease or another form of dementia? Any change that is different from a persons usual behavior or abilities could be a cause for concern, explains neuropsychologist Katherine Rankin, PhD, who conducts research at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in San Francisco. Take a look at some of the earliest signs of dementia you may be surprised.

    Missing Sarcasm

    You may or may not appreciate sarcastic senses of humor, but sarcasm is a part of our culture. We see it as a nice way to be critical and so we use it constantly, even when we are trying to be nice, says Rankin, who recently reported study results at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology showing that people with both frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimers disease tend to have a harder time picking up on sarcasm. Another unusual sign of dementia Rankin noticed? People with FTD couldnt tell when someone was lying, although people with Alzheimers disease could tell. FTD patients dont have that sense anymore that things that people do could turn out badly, she says.

    Frequent Falling

    A Disregard for the Law


    Disregard For The Law

    7 Early Warning Signs That May Indicate DementiaDo You ...

    Poor judgement with relation to finances or even obeying the law can be an early sign of changes in the brain connected to frontotemporal dementia . It is sometimes hard to wrap our minds around the concept that a specific part of our brain is not functioning properly, leading to behaviors that may range the gamut of disruptive, detached and sometimes criminal, doctor and researcher Georges Naasan said to Reuters.

    Nassan authored a study on the subject for the Journal of the American Medical Association Neurology, which found that patients with FTD were more likely to commit theft, traffic violations, sexual advances, trespassing, and public urination, whereas those with Alzheimers were most likely to commit traffic violations, often related to cognitive impairment.

    Don’t Miss: Does Prevagen Help Dementia

    Staring Into Space May Be A Sign Of Alzheimer’s Disease

    The American Academy of Neurology is publishing a study about indications of Alzheimer’s Disease in the January 19, 2010 print issue of Neurology®. The study indicates that older people who seem to have disorganized thinking, stare into space or have mental lapses are more likely to have Alzheimer’s Disease than people who do not have these symptoms.

    Researchers evaluated 511 people with an average age of 78 and interviewed each study subject and a family member. The study subjects were evaluated for dementia, memory and thinking skills.

    Symptoms of mental lapses include frequent or constant drowsiness or lethargy, in spite of getting adequate sleep sleeping two or more hours before 7:00 PM periods of time when a person’s flow of ideas is unclear, illogical or disorganized and long periods of staring into space. Three out of the four symptoms may indicate that that a person is experiencing mental lapses.

    According to the study, people with mental lapses were 4.6 times more likely to have dementia than people without mental lapses. People who had mental lapses also tended to have more severe symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

    The Alzheimer’s Association defines Alzheimer’s as a memory loss that disrupts daily life. Often associated with aging, Alzheimer’s is not a typical part of the aging process. Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes a loss of memory, thinking and reasoning skills.

    Drowsiness Staring And Mental Lapses May Signal Alzheimers Disease

    Seniors who feel drowsy much of the time, or who have periods when they stare into space or their thinking seems illogical or disorganized, may be at increased risk of Alzheimers disease, a new study reports. The findings were published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

    If you have these lapses, they dont by themselves mean that you have Alzheimers, said James Galvin, M.D., a Washington University neurologist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and a senior author of the study. Such lapses do occur in healthy older adults. But our results suggest that they are something your doctor needs to consider if he or she is evaluating you for problems with thinking and memory.

    These mental lapses, or cognitive fluctuations, are common in a type of dementia called dementia with Lewy bodies, but researchers previously did not know how frequently they occurred in people with Alzheimers disease.

    The study involved 511 people with memory problems whose average age was 78. Researchers interviewed each participant and a family member, evaluated the participants for dementia and tested their memory and thinking skills.

    People with three or four of the following symptoms met the criteria for having mental lapses:

    * Feeling drowsy or lethargic most of the time, or several times per day, despite getting enough sleep the night before.

    * Sleeping two or more hours before 7 p.m.

    * Staring into space for long periods.

    You May Like: Senile Dementia Treatments

    Treatment And Care For Lewy Body Dementia

    While LBD currently cannot be prevented or cured, some symptoms may respond to treatment for a period of time. An LBD treatment plan may involve medications, physical and other types of therapy, and counseling. A plan to make any home safety updates and identify any equipment can make everyday tasks easier.

    A skilled care team often can suggest ways to improve quality of life for both people with LBD and their caregivers.

    Behaviour And Personality Changes

    Does Joe Biden have Dementia? | What is Dementia?

    Many people with frontotemporal dementia develop a number of unusual behaviours they’re not aware of.

    These can include:

    • losing interest in people and things
    • losing drive and motivation
    • inability to empathise with others, seeming cold and selfish
    • repetitive behaviours, such as humming, hand-rubbing and foot-tapping, or routines such as walking exactly the same route repetitively
    • a change in food preferences, such as suddenly liking sweet foods, and poor table manners
    • compulsive eating, alcohol drinking and/or smoking
    • neglecting personal hygiene

    As the condition progresses, people with frontotemporal dementia may become socially isolated and withdrawn.

    Don’t Miss: Neil Diamond Alzheimer’s

    Solutions To Your Dog Staring Into Space

    If your dog doesnt have a physical ailment, youve already done half the work. You can use a variety of techniques to keep your dog from staring into space. They are as follows:

    • Using a toy to distract him
    • Switching on the radio
    • Transferring him to a separate room
    • Providing him with a variety of exercises

    Thats it guys. These are all the possible reasons and solutions why your dog might be staring into space.

    A Word About Dementia And Alzheimers

    One of the most common misunderstandings is that dementia and Alzheimers disease are one and the same. Actually, dementia is a syndrome, not a disease. A syndrome is a group of symptoms that dont have a definitive diagnosis. Dementia is a group of symptoms that affect mental cognitive tasks such as memory and reasoning. Alzheimers is technically classified as a progressive disease of the brain that slowly causes impairment of memory and cognitive function and counts dementia as one of its symptoms.

    To put it in another perspective, Alzheimers disease is the most common type of dementia. The term dementia is an umbrella term that Alzheimers disease can fall under. It can occur due to a variety of conditions, the most common of which is Alzheimers disease.

    Alzheimers may require medical attention above and beyond what is required when dealing with dementia. Again, dementia is a group of symptoms that involve impaired thinking, while Alzheimers goes far beyond cognitive impairment and is classified as a terminal illness with 7 stages, the final being the terminal stage. Dementia is not necessarily terminal and may not be caused by Alzheimers.

    Recommended Reading: Alzheimer’s Purple Color Code

    Blank Stare Compulsive Behavior Confusion And Delusions

    Reviewed on 12/14/2020

    Confusion and delusions can be features of dementia such as Alzheimer disease or dementia due to other causes. A blank stare can accompany certain psychological conditions or can be present with some seizure disorders. Talk to your doctor any time you are experiencing worrisome symptoms.

    While the list below can be considered as a guide to educate yourself about these conditions, this is not a substitute for a diagnosis from a health care provider. There are many other medical conditions that also can be associated with your symptoms and signs. Here are a number of those from MedicineNet:


    Most Popular