Dementia Symptoms and Signs
Do You or Someone You Love Experience These Common Signs of Dementia?
Dementia typically progresses through three stages, from relatively mild and irritating symptoms to those that are far more severe. The information below will help you to determine whether you or your loved one experiences early or middle stage symptoms:
Mild Cognitive Impairment / Early Onset Dementia Signs
In early dementia stages, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is frequently confused with the typical changes of aging. Common symptoms include:
- Forgetting appointments or misplacing things
- Having trouble recalling words or names
- Difficulty following the flow of conversation
People in this stage don’t need help with daily functioning. They likely notice the ways they are changing and can talk with others about their symptoms. Some people will experience a progression and eventually develop Alzheimer’s disease or a more advanced type of dementia. But for many the disease reaches a plateau, and some people can even return to normal. Doctors and researchers don’t yet fully understand why some people with MCI go on to get Alzheimer’s disease. But studies suggest that patients with the highest levels of cognitive impairment are at the greatest risk.
In the middle stages, a person’s dementia symptoms worsen.
- Experiences more pronounced memory loss, for example:
- Remembering your own name, but forgetting your phone number or address
- Forgetting recent events or past history
- Trouble identifying friends and family, but still recognizing familiar faces
- Losing or misplacing objects and taking other people’s belongings
- Feels dazed or confused
- Finds it hard to organize thoughts or to reason
- Loses track of time or place
- Has trouble understanding and expressing words
- Finds it difficult to make choices
Moods and emotions:
- May experience shifting moods, becoming anxious, suspicious, sad, depressed, frustrated, angry, hostile, apathetic and agitated
- Frequently feels lost or insecure
- Acts apprehensive, withdrawn or passive
- Paces and wonders around
- Repeats questions or statements
- Believes things that aren’t true
- Experiences hallucinations (hears, sees, feels, smells, or tastes things that others don’t)
- Loses inhibition, either sexually or aggressively
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