It is important to look for early indicators of possible dementia so that you can begin treatment faster. If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these warning signs, speak to a doctor:
- You’re feeling depressed:
A new study examining about 2,400 seniors found that those who report symptoms of depression were twice as likely of developing dementia later. The causes of dementia in the brain may be connected to the causes of depression, but no one has definitely proven such a link. Still, if your mood has greatly worsened in the past few months, it could indicate greater dementia risk.
- Your taste buds are changing:
A Japanese study says that dementia can affect the parts of the brain that control the taste buds and appetite. Look out for huge changes in your food cravings, particularly a newfound sweet-tooth. Some dementia patients even sought out expired or rotten food.
- You have started stealing:
Criminal behavior, like shoplifting, trespassing and speeding, could be early signs of frontotemporal dementia (FTD). The disease reduces the brain’s ability to understand social rules and follow laws. A study in JAMA Neurology found that 14 percent of dementia patients had criminal activity as their first warning sign.
- You don’t get sarcasm:
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, think that the inability to detect “high-order” verbal cues could be an early effect of dementia. If you are having trouble knowing when someone is making a joke or speaking insincerely, ask your doctor about it.
- You’ve started hoarding:
Research from UCLA has linked hoarding and other compulsive problems to dementia. If you are buying unnecessary things or cannot get yourself to throw away useless possessions, it could be a sign of dementia.
If you or a loved one suffers from dementia, please consider registering for one of the clinical research trials we offer at Brain Matters Research.