Early symptoms of dementia explained in NHS video
“Among the earliest indications of dementia, mood and personality changes reveal a storm of emotions,” said Dr Wassermann.
Emotions can range from anger, irritability, anxiety and agitation; in some cases, individuals who develop dementia might “experience emotional detachment”.
This would look like “withdrawing socially and losing empathy” for people around them.
Dr Wassermann said: “Navigating this perplexing journey, they wrestle with a multitude of conflicting emotions, struggling to find balance.”
Another potential indication of dementia is the onset of confusion and disorientation.
“Dementia inflicts a profound sense of confusion and disorientation, transforming once-familiar landmarks, faces, and objects into an uncharted wilderness,” said Dr Wassermann.
“Those affected may become lost within their own minds, encountering difficulties in navigating familiar routes, losing track of time, and misplacing belongings.”
Dr Wassermann added: “Conversations become intricate labyrinths as they grapple to express themselves with coherence.”
The “hallmark” of dementia, however, is memory loss that “challenges individuals to remember recent events, essential information, and even the names of loved ones”.
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People who develop the devastating condition “increasingly rely on long-term memories while growing bewildered by recent occurrences”.
Dr Wassermann added: “The fragments of their once-vibrant memories slip through their grasp, leaving them yearning for stability in an ever-shifting reality.”
Cognitive decline is also a classic feature of dementia that impacts thinking capabilities, problem-solving skills, and decision-making.
“Concentration becomes arduous,” said Dr Wassermann, “as individuals struggle to focus on tasks and are easily distracted.”
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Anybody exhibiting such signs of dementia would benefit from a more thorough assessment by their doctor, who may make a referral to a memory clinic.
The NHS says: “If you’re worried about someone else’s memory problems, encourage them to make an appointment with a GP and perhaps suggest that you go with them.”
Should a referral be made to a memory clinic, the individual will undergo numerous tests to determine whether they have dementia or not.
Dr Monika Wassermann is the Medical Doctor at IT’S ME AND YOU.
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