Early Signs of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Detecting early signs of dementia and its specific types, such as Alzheimer’s disease, is important for monitoring and maintaining your health, or the health of someone you know. Oftentimes, symptoms of the disease are excused as being indicative of “old age”; however, early indicators, especially when more frequently prevalent, should be taken seriously.

Early signs of dementia

When brain cells cannot communicate normally, thinking, behavior and feelings can be affected, which is known as dementia. Dementia is a delay or loss in cognitive abilities. The effects include memory loss, impaired judgment, impaired motor skills, and language challenges.

Some of the more common types of dementia and their symptoms include:

-Vascular dementia – less drive, difficulty in planning

-Dementia with Lewy bodies – sleep issues, hallucinations

-Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) – less motivation, loss of emotional sensitivity, compulsive/ irrational behavior, anxiety and depression

Early signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.

The following are early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease to look out for, especially if they are occurring frequently and with great impact:

-Memory loss on a regular basis, and trouble establishing new memories

-Difficulty in planning/problem solving

-Problems completing regular tasks

-Vision issues and trouble with spatial relationships

-Writing/speaking problems – person may forget specific vocabulary or not know how to proceed talking about a subject

-Losing things and/or unable to recreate past steps

-Lack of good judgment when pertaining to themselves in upkeep/making decisions

-Decreased participation socially or professionally—often those affected withdraw when they realize changing behavior

-Personality/temperament changes

Taking action when experiencing symptoms

Dementia usually occurs gradually. Because of this, it can be difficult to determine if one is experiencing signs of the disease or experiencing an illness of another sort. When signs occur regularly and even just one indicator is prevalent, there is a strong likelihood these are precursors to the disease. By being proactive and learning of early symptoms, you can seek immediate medical attention in order to delay and circumvent further symptoms from developing.

For more information about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as health care options for those living with this disease, visit Franklin United Methodist Community, located in Franklin, Indiana.