Dementia – What to Look For?

If you or someone you love is becoming a little forgetful, you may be worried they have the early signs of dementia. This article will give you some of the signs and facts about dementia so you can take appropriate action, but as always, if you are concerned you should consider contacting your doctor for further advice.

What is Dementia?

Dementia isn’t a specific disease, but rather a term given to a group of symptoms (more on this shortly). Although dementia can occur in any age group, it tends to manifest more often in older people. It is, however, very different from the normal aging process where being a little forgetful is common.

Dementia is more common in people who have a family history of it, have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, or are of African American or Hispanic origin. However, the condition is not limited solely to these groups.


Symptoms of Dementia

Symptoms of dementia vary depending on both the person and the kind of dementia they have. Some of the diseases (and their symptoms) that are classified under the term dementia include:


This accounts for 60-80% of cases. It is caused by changes in the brain and most commonly affects the short-term memory. People with Alzheimer’s may not be able to remember what they ate for breakfast but can remember events from their childhood.

Family history is the biggest risk factor for Alzheimer’s and having a close relative with the disease can increase your own risk factor by 20-30%.

Other symptoms such as difficulty walking, talking, or swallowing can also occur later in the disease.

Vascular Dementia

Vascular dementia affects memory and other cognitive abilities due to mini strokes impacting blood flow to the brain. Symptoms vary dramatically depending on the severity of the strokes.

Lewy Body Dementia

This form of dementia has memory loss, but in addition to this can also impact the use of muscles causing stiffness and balance issues.

Frontotemporal Dementia

This is damage to a specific part of the brain, which causes the sufferer to behave inappropriately. Language skills can also be impacted.

Mixed Dementia

It’s not uncommon for a person to experience symptoms of more than one kind of dementia.

Short Term Dementia

Short-term dementia occurs as a result of an injury that will heal or even a side effect of medication.

If you or someone you love is experiencing dementia symptoms, you should seek help in the form of your doctor. They will be able to do further testing to confirm whether what your experiencing is relating to a dementia condition.

How is Dementia Treated?

At present there is no cure for dementia; however, research is ongoing and developments are being made every year. In the meantime, there are therapies and medications which can help manage the symptoms of dementia and make life easier.

Dementia impacts a large percentage of the population and is estimated to increase further in the next handful of years. This is largely because with healthcare in other areas improving, people are living longer. If you are worried about dementia, you should seek advice and further testing.

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