How Early Can Signs of Dementia Present?

Signs of dementia
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Dementia signs can be helpful to recognize early.

The mind is truly incredible.

It processes body sensations, regulates body systems, encodes memory, and allows for communication and language.

When the brain is injured or diseased, it can subsequently have a significant negative impact on a person.

According to a recent Money Talks News article titled “3 Dementia Warning Signs That May Appear Years in Advance,” these negative impacts often present with identifiable symptoms.

Signs of dementia may present prior to diagnosis.
Confusion or memory problems can be an early sign of dementia.

A team of researchers from the University of Cambridge led by junior doctor Nol Swaddiwudhipong reviewed the data from tests taken by about a half million study participants ages 40 to 69 from the United Kingdom.

The team noticed that measurable signs of Dementia showed themselves up to nine years prior to a diagnosis.

The findings were published recently in the Alzheimer’s Association journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia.

What were some of the noted signs?

Worse cognitive test scores.

The participants in the study were given a number of cognitive-related tests.

These included tests of memory, grip strength, reaction time, and problem-solving.

The individuals with worse scores were more likely to develop frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Recent fall.

Falling and balance issues are often signs of cognitive decline.

It was more common for participants who were to receive an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis eventually to have had a fall in the previous year.

Compared to healthy individuals, those who developed progressive supranuclear palsy had more than a two times greater chance of having experienced a fall.

Progressive supranuclear palsy is a rare neurological condition that impacts balance.

Poorer general health. 

When the health data of participants indicated poor overall health, they were more likely to develop any number of health conditions, including dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease.

Does having any of these symptoms mean you will develop dementia?

Not necessarily.

There is certainly normal variance between individuals when it comes to factors like memory recall.

By talking with your doctor about the signs and symptoms of concern, you can work together to improve health and treat underlying factors.

Reference: Money Talks News (Feb. 13, 2023) “3 Dementia Warning Signs That May Appear Years in Advance”

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