We all face memory problems from time to time. We forget things that we remember later or need to be reminded of, we misplace our car keys or forget the name of someone we just met yesterday. As we age, some degree of memory loss and a decline in thinking skills is expected and is considered to be very common.
However, there is a difference between being forgetful at times and memory loss that progressively becomes worse and could be symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. If you suffer from the following early warning signs of memory loss, it’s important to talk to your doctor and determine the cause because many of the causes are treatable:
1. Confusion about time and place
People who have dementia sometimes become confused about time and space. This confusion may be caused by various changes in the brain caused by memory loss. This could cause difficulty in recognizing people and places, or it can manifest as confusion about the time of life they are currently living.
2. Increasing confusion
As time goes on, the level of confusion a patient with memory problems has can increase or become worse. As confusion increases, it could cause longer periods of confusion or more intense confusion during episodes.
3. Reduced concentration and problem solving ability
Dementia causes reduced concentration and problem solving ability. An example of this would be managing finances. While this can be difficult for anyone, someone with dementia may have difficulty knowing what numbers mean or what to do with them to achieve their goal.
4. Personality or behavioral changes
A person with dementia may exhibit personality and behavioral changes. We all experience mood changes from time to time. However, a person with dementia may have quick and sudden mood changes or mood swings for no apparent reason.
5. Apathy and withdrawal or depression
A few new studies have shown that apathy, withdrawal, and depression symptoms are present in a large majority of people who suffer from dementia. While depression and withdrawal are typically treated right away, apathy often goes unnoticed until it becomes extremely problematic.
If you or a loved one shows any signs or symptoms of memory loss, it is important to talk to your doctor about the symptoms and keep a record of whether the symptoms become worse. The term “dementia” is considered an umbrella term that is used to describe a set of symptoms. The symptoms that fall under the umbrella term dementia include impairment of:
- Reasoning skills
- Social skills
- Thinking skills
- Language skills
The early signs and symptoms of dementia are extremely subtle and can be extremely vague, but the above mentioned symptoms are the most significant issues patients with dementia face, and should be discussed with a healthcare provider.