Contrary to popular belief, dementia is not just one disease. Instead, it is a broad term used to describe a collection of signs and symptoms. To be diagnosed with this disease, you’ll need to be suffering from at least two kinds of impairments that interfere with your day-to-day life. Therefore, you don’t necessarily have dementia if all you have is memory problems.
The different conditions that cause dementia typically affect behaviour, thought patterns, communication ability, and the brain. In fact, it’s common to hear people using the “Alzheimer’s Disease” and Dementia terms interchangeably, even though they’re different. Dementia is a collective term used to describe the deterioration of one’s mental capacity. When one’s mental deterioration is severe then it can be categorized as dementia. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia which explains why many people confuse the two. It is caused by complex brain changes caused by cell damage.
Causes Of Dementia
Dementia is mainly caused by a disruption or damage to the brain cells that can be a result of a number of factors. In some cases, the damage is reversible and can be reversed or slowed with proper treatment. Here are some of the common causes of dementia:
- Genetics such as Huntington’s disease
- Illness such as diabetes, thyroid disease, stroke, hypertension, HIV and Vascular disorders
- Certain medications such as anxiety medication, corticosteroids, chemotherapy drugs, and cholesterol-lowering statins
- Poisonings such as carbon monoxide, mercury, and lead
- Brain tumour
- Vitamin deficiencies over time
- Accumulation of proteins in the brain
- Family history
Don’t ignore these early warning signs if you see them as early diagnosis can be crucial in preventing further deterioration.
Short-Term Memory Lapses
Having subtle issues with your short-term memory can be a sign of dementia. They’re usually slight short-term memory changes or lapses in the beginning. For example, someone with dementia may forget what they ate for breakfast but still remember things that happened years ago. 8 Foods That Promote Mental Health
Another common sign of this disease is mood changes. It might be hard for you to recognize dementia if you’ve got it, but it’s easier to notice the changes in someone else. For example, a person who’s got this disease will seem depressed and more anxious and fearful than they usually are. In addition, unfamiliar situations and changes in their daily routine can easily upset them.
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Struggling to Find the Right Words
Finding it hard to properly communicate your thoughts is another early sign of dementia. Someone with this disease might find it hard to express themselves in words or explain something they’re thinking about. Sometimes they’ll even stop mid-sentence and forget how to continue. Someone with dementia will take a longer time expressing their feelings and thoughts.
Difficulty Completing Tasks
Another early warning sign is when you suddenly can’t finish everyday tasks. This often starts when you find it hard to complete the more complex tasks, such as keeping track of your bills, playing games with lots of rules, and following a recipe. Along with struggling to finish familiar tasks, someone with dementia might also find it hard to follow new routines or learn new things. 7 Daily Practices That Boost Brain Health
Listlessness, or apathy, is another common early warning sign of dementia. People with this disease may start to lose interest in activities or hobbies they used to like taking part in or doing. They might not want to have fun or go out anymore. They might also start to lose interest in hanging out with their family and friends and will even start to seem emotionally flat.
In the early stages, people with this disease will often become confused. They may find it hard to remember faces, figure out where they are, or know what date or time it is. Confusion can apply to several different situations and can occur due to many different reasons. 5 Games That Improve Brain Function
It’s common for people who’ve got dementia to repeat themselves all the time because of general behavioural changes and memory loss. For example, a person with this disease might repeat daily tasks, like shaving or bathing, or even start obsessively collecting certain items.
Cognitive deterioration will eventually make it hard for someone to make sound decisions. For example, someone with dementia might not be able to notice or recognize dangerous scenarios. They may forget things like how to cross a busy street safely and so on. As a result, a person with dementia will start showing poor judgment more and more.
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