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Scientific Breakthroughs & Caregiver Tips
How is Dementia Detected?
Although many causes of dementia are progressive and incurable, early detection of symptoms can allow you to get the treatment that can improve your quality of life over the course of the disease. Some causes of dementia are treatable and reversible, and early diagnosis of these forms of dementia is crucial in getting effective treatment.
The early indications of dementia include:
- Memory loss. Minor memory problems are a natural part of the aging process, but dementia-related memory loss typically includes forgetting names or dates, needing to be reminded of the same things over and over, and loss of memories that don’t come back.
- Problem-solving difficulties. These difficulties include having trouble doing tasks that you used to have no problem with, such as following a recipe or paying bills on time. Problems with attention or concentration are also a warning sign.
- Disorientation. Dementia sufferers often have trouble remembering where they are or what the day or date is. They might get confused about the passage of time or have difficulty understanding spatial relationships.
- Visual perception. Dementia often manifests in difficulties with color or depth perception, or other visual problems. These problems might show up while the sufferer is trying to read or drive.
- Language problems. Difficulty finding the correct words for a situation or participating in a conversation is a common early warning sign of dementia.
- Losing things. Dementia sufferers often misplace common objects such as keys, glasses, and wallets.
- Poor judgment. Dementia sufferers often make bad decisions about finances, social situations, grooming, or hygiene.
- Social struggles. Dementia sufferers also may begin to avoid social situations because of their difficulties in navigating them.
- Personality changes. Uncharacteristic, unexplained anxiety, frustration, confusion, or paranoia are common early signs of dementia.
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