Early indicators of dementia are often vague and subtle, and in many cases, individuals don't realize there is a health problem at all. Dementia symptoms are often ascribed to mere forgetfulness or absent-mindedness, but it is far more severe. It's important to become familiar with the early warning signs of dementia, as early detection can lead to treatment at a much earlier stage than late detection, which can help slow the progression of the disease and prevent more severe symptoms from cropping up. Individuals who notice symptoms in themselves or a loved one, it is best to get in contact with a doctor for an assessment. Even if patients feel it's nothing, it is better to double-check than to risk worsening symptoms. Doctors will use a variety of different assessment techniques to rule out or confirm a dementia diagnosis.
Let's review the warning signs now.
One of the most common early symptoms of dementia is reduced concentration. Patients may find themselves having more and more trouble focusing on tasks, which can be incredibly frustrating, as the ability to memorize information and learn new things is also greatly affected. Book lovers may find they can't read a paragraph without their attention wandering, or they have to read the same passage several times to absorb it. Affected individuals might have trouble paying attention to tasks both at work and during their leisure time. It's normal to have periods when concentration on work is difficult, but if an individual's focus is being severely impaired while doing hobbies they can usually manage, it is a good idea to talk to a doctor.
Of course, reduced concentration isn't necessarily caused by dementia. A whole host of other conditions could be behind it, which is why a professional medical assessment is so critical. Depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are two common psychological illnesses that cause a lack of concentration, while hormonal disorders like hypothyroidism might point to a physical cause.
Continue reading to learn what to watch for in personality when it comes to dementia.