When a person suffers from dementia, it affects some of the most important mental functions, like memories, thought process and the power to reason. This impairment has a drastic effect on the person and his or her ability to interact with their surroundings.
Dementia can be caused due to several diseases and Alzheimer's is one of them. It can also be caused due to extreme depression and abusing drugs or alcohol.
At the present, there is no available treatment for dementia and hence, it cannot be cured. However, medications and therapy can be used to control some of the symptoms.
Dementia is a progressive disorder and it is imperative to know the early signs of dementia in order to seek appropriate medical help. Here are some of the early signs of dementia:
- The most significant early sign of dementia is loss of memory. A person starting out with dementia will forget events that occurred recently. Do not confuse this with normal forgetfulness that comes with aging. In the latter, the memory returns at some point later on, while in the former the memory of the recent event never returns.
- Many people suffering from early dementia have problems with finding the correct words and speaking. They will forget a word and end up using another word, which would be the wrong one, in its place. As people with dementia have a problem in talking and expressing themselves, they tend to get withdrawn and not take part in conversations. This impairment can also give rise to bouts of anger and frustration.
- Forgetting to do everyday living activities like folding clothes or switching on the washing machine, or putting things away in another place is common in patients suffering from early dementia. You may end up finding the telephone inside the refrigerator or clothes inside the dishwasher. If you happen to notice your loved one misplacing things or not being able to do something that they used to do before, then it is best to seek a doctor's opinion.
- Another early sign of dementia is getting disorientated in a familiar surrounding. For example, a person suffering from onset of dementia may be able to find his or her way to the supermarket, but will not be able to find their way back home. They will not know how they reached a certain place after they left home.
- A person suffering from onset of dementia will have significant changes in his or her personality. The person will be calm and relaxed one moment and the next moment he or she will have a fit of temper.
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