Warning Signs of Dementia
Warning Signs of Dementia
The most important early indications of dementia are as follows:
1. Forgetfulness with effects at work:
Most people sometimes forget names or appointments. If this happens more frequently and inexplicable states of confusion become apparent, this could be an indication for a decline in memory function.
2. Difficulties with familiar activities:
People who are very busy are sometimes absent-minded and for example forget the pot on the stove.People with dementia possibly not only forget the pot on the stove but also that they are doing the cooking.
3. Language problems:
Most people occasionally experience difficulties in finding the right words. Dementia sufferers often cannot remember simple words and instead they use inappropriate ‘fillers’,which makes it difficult to understand the flow of the sentences.
4. Problems with spatial and temporal orientation:
Most people sometimes forget e.g. the day of the week or can get lost in unfamiliar surroundings. Dementia sufferers might be in their own street and no longer know where they are, how they got there and howto get home again.
5. Impaired capacity of judgement:
People don’t always wear the most appropriate clothing for the weather.Dementia sufferers however, sometimes wear totally inappropriate clothes.For example, they wear a bath robe while shopping or several blouses on top of each other on a hot summer day.
6. Problems with abstract thinking:
Managing a bank account can be a challenge for many people.Dementia patients can often neither recognize numbers nor carry out simple calculations.
7. Leaving things behind:
From time to time almost everybody leaves their keys or a wallet behind.Dementia sufferers how ever might put things in completely inappropriate places, such as putting the iron in the fridge or a watch in the sugar bowl.Afterwards they do not remember where they put them.
8. Mood swings and behavioural changes:
Everybody has mood swings. People with dementia may have very sudden moods wings,often without discernible cause.
9. Personality changes:
Most people’s personality changes a little with age. People affected by dementia may experience a very pronounced personality change; this can happen suddenly or over a longer period of time. Some body who is generally friendly, for example, becomes unexpectedly angry, jealous or timid.
10. Loss of initiative:
No-one continuously works with the same motivation. Dementia patients sometimes loose the zest in their work and the interest in their hobbies completely without enjoying new activities.
Dealing with daily life become increasingly difficult and people suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease become increasingly incompetent and insecure in normal daily situations.But skills and abilities deeply ingrained by their life history are preserved for a long time and sometimes patients develop a pronounced feeling for atmosphere and feelings and are sensitive to physical contact and show warmth towards others.
Causes of Dementia
There are several diseases and conditions that cause dementia. These include:
1. Alzheimer’s Disease:
The most common cause (almost 60%) of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative disease that attacks the brain and results in impaired memory, thinking and behavior. During the course of the disease the chemistry and structure of the brain changes, leading to the death of brain cells. It is a natural phenomenon to loose a certain number of nerve cells during aging but this loss occurs much more rapidly in people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.As a result the patient’s brain ceases to function normally.
2. Vascular Dementia or Multi-Infarct Dementia:
The brain relies on a network of vessels to bring it oxygen-bearing blood. If the oxygen supply to the brain fails, brain cells are likely to die and this can cause the symptoms of vascular dementia. These symptoms can occur either suddenly, following a stroke,or over time through a series of small strokes. Vascular Dementia is not reversible or curable, but recognition of an underlying condition often leads to a specific treatment that may modify the progression of the said dementia.
3. Dementia with Lew y bodies:
This form of dementia gets its name from tiny spherical structures that develop inside nerve cells. Their presence in the brain leads to the degeneration of brain tissue.Memory, concentration and language kills are affected. This form of dementia shares some characteristics with Parkinson’s disease. People with this kind of dementia may be more likely to have hallucinations or spells of distressed or disturbed behaviour. They can also be very sensitive to drugs which are sometimes used to help behaviour problems.
4. Fronto – Temporal Dementia:
(including Pick’sDisease) ” In Fronto-Temporal dementia, damage is usually focused in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. At first, personality and behaviour are more affected than memory. Common behavioural changes include loss of inhibition, lack of interest in environment, loss of empathy for others, over-eating, and obsessive or ritualistic behaviours and