Signs and Symptoms of Early Onset Dementia

One of the biggest challenges life can throw at us is the decline of our mental abilities and the stresses and struggles that accompany it. Dementia is a collection ofsymptoms resulting from damage to the brain that together reduce mental cognitive ability. These symptoms can affect the way we view the world, view ourselves and how we relate to close friends and family. By learning about the symptoms of dementia you can spot early signs in yourself or a loved one easier as well as gain some understanding and control over the situation by knowing what to expect and preparing for it.

Every person's brain is unique, and as a unique organ each brain reacts a little differently to damage. Additionally dementia can be caused by damage to different areas of the brain, which symptoms present themselves depend on where the brain is being damaged. This means that some people will experience different symptoms to others and each case is unique.

The most common symtoms of dementia are:

  1. Memory Loss - this is the most common symptom of dementia. This is more extreme than ordinary memory loss due to aging and you may notice the sufferer frequently forgets words they are about to use and may forget things they would not normally forget - for example the name of a loved-one or a good friend. They may also misplace items such as keys and later find that they have put them in an unusual or strange place.
  2. Disorientation - someone with dementia may get disorientated and not know where they are even when they are in a familiar place such as their own home. They may also get confused and not know what day it is or get mixed up about whether it is day or night.
  3. Change in mood, behaviour and personality - this symptom can present itself in many ways depending on the person, the important factor to watch out for is that it is unusual for that individual. Some may become moodier or more emotional than normal while others may seem less emotional. Changes in personality may be hard to pinpoint but you may be left with a feeling that that person isn't quite themself and is acting slightly out of character.
  4. Decreased inititive - some sufferers of dementia become very passive. Where once they would be out and about doing things, seeing people and endulging in hobbies they may become much for likely to sit in front of the TV all day or stay in bed for longer.

As dementia is progressive these symptoms will start out being barely noticable but will get worse over time. The rate and manner in which they get worse will be unique to each individual and the experience will differ wildly from person to person. If you are worried about a friend, family member or colleague and believe they are presenting some of these symptoms you should talk to a GP as soon as possible.

Many dementia sufferers do not recognise their own symptoms and it is someone close to them who first realises that they are sick. Because dementia and the symptoms that accomany it can be caused by quite a wide variety of diseases an early diagnosis is essential to manage and treat it in the best way possible.