While a diagnosis of dementia requires a neurological examination, a physical exam, and appropriate laboratory tests – there are symptoms to look out for (listed below).
Also, gathering as much medical history as possible is necessary for a correct and timely diagnosis. This involves gathering information about possible risk factors such as a family history.
This would also include the history of strokes or other neurological diseases. Of course, keeping track of the the onset, duration, and progression of symptoms is crucial as well.
Usually, memory loss is the earliest and most noticeable symptom. Other major symptoms of dementia include:
– Having trouble recalling recent events.
– Having trouble performing simple calculations.
– Not keeping up personal hygiene such as grooming or bathing.
– Not recognizing familiar faces and locations.
– Having trouble finding the correct words to express thoughts or name simple things.
– Having difficulties balancing checkbooks or writing a note.
– Not exercising the best judgment, such as knowing what to do in an emergency.
– Having trouble controlling moods or behaviors. Depression is common, and irritation or aggression sometimes occurs.
Some types of dementia cause these symptoms:
– People who have dementia with Lewy bodies often have extremely visual hallucinations. They may fall frequently.
– The first symptoms of frontotemporal dementia may be personality changes or atypical behavior. People with this condition might not express empathy for others, or may blurt out rude things, expose themselves, or make sexually explicit comments.