Dementia is a very dreaded condition associated with aging. But it is becoming more common, simply because more of us are living longer. According to the World Health Organization, dementia cases are expected to triple from their current rate by 2050. Although the disease is progressive and there is currently no cure, treatments are available to slow its progression, if at all possible. The key is early detection. Especially forgetting one thing can mean you are developing dementia. Read on to find out more, and to ensure your health and the health of others, do not miss these Sure you have “long” COVID and may not even know it.
““Dementia is not a single disease, but a term that describes a collection of changes in memory, thinking and personality that interfere with a person’s ability to function,” says Scott Kaiser, MD, a board-certified geriatrician and director of geriatric cognitive health at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. “This disorder can be caused by a variety of brain diseases or conditions.”
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting more than five million Americans.
Memory problems are a common first sign of dementia. A person with dementia may forget recent or important events, names and places, or where they left certain objects.
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Language problems, such as forgetting the right words for things, can be a sign of dementia.
“People living with Alzheimer’s may have trouble following or participating in a conversation,” says the Alzheimer’s Association. “They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to proceed, or they may repeat themselves. They may struggle with vocabulary, have trouble naming a familiar object, or use the wrong name (such as At). call a “watch” a “hand watch”). “
People with dementia can “use substitutions or talk around the word they can not remember, ”says Thomas C. Hammond, MD, a neurologist with Baptist Health’s Marcus Neuroscience Institute in Boca Raton, Florida. “These can be subtle language changes that are not easily noticed.” To cope with language problems, a person with dementia can be withdrawn and socially isolated.
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According to Dr. Kaiser may include other symptoms of dementia:
- Incorrect item and inability to track steps to find them
- Visual and spatial problems (getting lost while driving)
- Difficulty solving problems, organizing, planning, or performing mental tasks
- General confusion
- Problems with coordination (problems with walking)
- Poor orientation to time or place
- Unexplained changes in personality, such as depression, anxiety or mood swings
If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of dementia, “it is important to conduct a thorough evaluation to identify such concerns and address them,” Kaiser says. “There are many medical conditions and other factors that can cause reversible memory loss.” These can include insomnia, stress, anxiety and depression. The only way to know for sure is to get your concerns checked out. And to get through life at your healthiest, do not miss these The first signs that you have a serious illness.