Most People Who Get Dementia Feel This First, Including Changes in Mood
Dementia is a broad term used to describe a decline in cognitive function, including memory, language, and problem-solving abilities. It is a common condition that affects millions of people around the world and can have a significant impact on an individual's daily life and overall well-being. Dementia can occur at any age, but it is more commonly seen in older adults. The risk of developing dementia increases with age, and it is most commonly diagnosed in people over the age of 65. However, it is important to note that dementia is not a normal part of aging, and younger people can also develop dementia. There are several types of dementia, and each type has its own set of causes and risk factors. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia in older adults, but other conditions, such as stroke, brain injuries, and HIV/AIDS, can also cause dementia.
If you are concerned about your risk of developing dementia, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional. They can assess your risk factors and discuss ways to reduce your risk, such as maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine, engaging in mentally stimulating activities, and controlling any medical conditions you may have. While the specific symptoms of dementia may vary from person to person, there are some common early signs that may indicate the presence of the condition. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
Memory Loss, Of Course
One of the most common early symptoms of dementia is memory loss. This may manifest as difficulty remembering recent events or conversations, or forgetting the names of familiar people or objects. Memory loss can also manifest as an inability to perform routine tasks, such as getting dressed or following a recipe.
Difficulty With Language
Another common early symptom of dementia is difficulty with language and communication. This may include forgetting words or using the wrong words when speaking, or having trouble understanding spoken or written language.
Trouble With Problem Solving
Problems with problem-solving and decision-making are also common early symptoms of dementia. An individual may have difficulty planning or organizing tasks, or may struggle to make simple decisions. They may also experience difficulty with spatial awareness and orientation, such as getting lost in familiar places or having trouble navigating unfamiliar environments.
Changes in Mood or Behavior
In addition to cognitive symptoms, individuals with dementia may also experience changes in their mood and behavior. This can include changes in personality, such as becoming more anxious, depressed, or agitated. They may also exhibit changes in their sleep patterns, such as experiencing insomnia or excessive daytime sleepiness.
When to Seek Help
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional. While there is no cure for dementia, early diagnosis and treatment can help manage the symptoms and improve quality of life. It is also important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including getting regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and engaging in activities that challenge the brain. By taking these steps, you can help reduce the risk of developing dementia or slow its progression if it has already been diagnosed. Also, doctors can diagnose dementia through a variety of methods, including:
Medical history and physical examination: The doctor will ask about your medical history and perform a physical examination to look for any underlying health conditions that may be causing your symptoms.
Cognitive and neuropsychological testing: These tests are designed to assess memory, language, and other cognitive functions.
Laboratory tests: The doctor may order blood tests or other laboratory tests to rule out other conditions that may be causing your symptoms.
Brain imaging: The doctor may recommend brain imaging tests, such as CT (computed tomography) or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), to look for changes in the brain that may be associated with dementia.
It is important to speak with a healthcare professional if you are experiencing any symptoms of dementia. Early diagnosis and treatment can help slow the progression of the condition and improve quality of life.