Dementia is a terrible illness that causes severe damage to the brain. This is an irreversible condition that causes a large amount of physical and mental deterioration that can strain relationships and damage the memories we have of our loved ones.
Dementia is most common in elderly patients though it can actually occur at nearly any age – in which case it might be referred to as ‘early-onset dementia’. Dementia is not a normal part of aging and should not be confused with age-related cognitive decline.
More specifically though, dementia is not actually a disease but rather a collection of symptoms.
These symptoms can be caused by a number of different conditions but when the occur together, they are referred to as dementia. It can be used broadly to describe a wide range of different conditions, which include:
– Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
– Frontotemporal dementia
– Huntington’s disease
– Parkinson’s disease
– Alzheimer’s disease
– Normal pressure hydrocephalus
– Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome
In some cases, such as Korsakoff syndrome, the symptoms may be brought on by a particular lifestyle or particular set of circumstances. In this example, dementia may have been triggered by alcoholism for example. However, in many other cases, dementia can be a result of unavoidable illnesses or even have no explainable cause. There are actually over 100 different types of dementia and while Alzheimer’s is the most common, this still only accounts for just over 50% of cases.
It is estimated that there are over 5 million people in the US suffering from dementia right now.
Unfortunately, the vague and broad nature of dementia makes it difficult to diagnose in many cases. What’s more, is that dementia can affect different people in very different ways and this depends on the part of the brain that is affected, as well as the health and even the personality of the individual to begin with. In this post, we’ll look at 13 of the common symptoms that cause dementia and how you can spot them.
1. Short Term Memory
One of the most common signs of dementia is short term memory issues. This can cause people to struggle to remember what they were doing, or perhaps what they did recently. A common example might be that they struggle to remember what they had for dinner last night, or where they put something.
These can also be symptoms of a range of other conditions and might also just point to regular age-related cognitive decline. But it is one symptom to be aware of at least.