Early Warning Signs, Stages And Types Of Dementia

dementia

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of various progressive conditions that affect the brain. It is a general term to describe symptoms of impairment in communication, memory, and thinking. The disease can affect an individual at any age but it is more commonly diagnosed among people of the age group of 65 years. If someone develops dementia before the age of 65, it is said to have young-onset.

There are over 200 subtypes of dementia and below mentioned are some of the most common types:

Types of dementia:

  • Alzheimer’s dementia
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Alcoholic dementia
  • Mixed dementia
  • Vascular dementia
  • Normal pressure hydrocephalus dementia
  • Lewy body dementia
  • Huntington’s disease dementia
  • Wernicke-Korsakoff dementia
  • Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease
  • Traumatic brain injury (concussion/dementia)

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Early warning signs and symptoms:

  • Memory loss.
  • Misplacing items like keys, wallet, glasses, etc.
  • Confusion about time and place (location).
  • Difficulty in planning something or solving a problem.
  • Poor work performance.
  • Problems understanding visual information.
  • Forgetting familiar names.
  • Difficulty doing familiar tasks.
  • Getting lost easily.
  • Poor judgment or decision-making.
  • Changes in personality or mood (for example, unusually angry).
  • Withdrawal from socializing.
  • Can’t control emotions.
  • Problems with speaking or writing.
  • Problems resisting emotions to use or touch objects while walking past them, for example, walking past the phone ringing but do not answer it.
  • Acting impulsively.
  • Have problems starting activities.
  • A lack of interest in things they normally enjoy.

Stages of dementia

Though there are several stages of dementia, the most common among them are below mentioned.

Stage 1: No cognitive decline

Stage 2: Age associated memory impairment

Stage 3: Mild cognitive impairment

Stage 4: Mild dementia

Stage 5: Moderate dementia

Stage 6: Moderately severe dementia

Stage 7: Severe dementia

Diagnosis of Dementia

If there are symptoms of dementia, it is recommended to visit a general practitioner (GP) as soon as possible. This is because some conditions look like dementia but are treatable. In order to establish it, a GP will screen the person for mental health and cognitive issues and take a medical and family history. He can also suggest an MRI or CT scan to examine the structure of the brain.

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