10 key signs of dementia

Identifying symptoms of dementia at the earliest possible stage is key to receiving an early diagnosis and the best care and treatment...

A recent YouGov survey, commissioned by award winning brain clinic Re:Cognition Health, has revealed that 49% of Britons don’t realise that dementia is fatal, despite it being the leading cause of death in England and Wales.

The survey of 2049 UK adults was commissioned to determine how much the British public know about dementia and its symptoms.

Despite more people (38%) fearing they may develop dementia, compared to cancer (26%) and heart disease (6%), many (11%) aren’t sure of what the symptoms of dementia are at all, apart from memory loss.

Dr Emer MacSweeney, CEO and Medical Director of Re:Cognition Health says, ‘Early intervention and accurate diagnosis of the specific cause of a person’s cognitive decline are key to ensuring the individual receives access to the correct and best treatment, at the earliest possible stage, before their symptoms have progressed to those of dementia. In order to receive an early diagnosis, it is essential to recognise symptoms as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this survey highlights that the general public is not yet sufficiently well informed; there is a massive lack of awareness.’

10 early symptoms of cognitive impairment which may lead to dementia include:

1. Short term memory loss

Such as forgetting names and important dates and repeatedly asking the same questions.

2. Changes in behaviour

Unexpected & uncharacteristic anger and changes in mood, perhaps becoming passive and disinterested.

3. Confusion

Which could include losing track of time or problems with processing information

4. Forgetting words

Experiencing problems with speech and language

5. Loss of sense of direction

Getting lost in a familiar environment and disorientated

6. Difficulty in performing everyday (seemingly normal) tasks

Such as making a cup of tea or unpacking the grocery shopping

7. Problems with calculation

Managing money or completing simple sums and puzzles may become an issue

8. Misplacing items

Such as putting keys in freezer or milk in the dishwasher and not being able to retrace steps to find them

9. Difficulty making decisions

Which may also include making the wrong decision such as personal grooming

10. Issues with visual images and special awareness

Which may include difficulty reading words, judging distances or recognising colour contrast

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or if you know of anybody who may be, it is imperative to seek prompt medical advice. An early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and other causes of cognitive impairment, leading eventually to symptoms of dementia, will give you the chance to change your quality of life.

Tags: Dementia