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Knowing the Symptoms of Dementia is Important for Early Diagnosis


Posted on October 22, 2009 by DementiaGuide

Knowing the Symptoms of Dementia is Important for Early Diagnosis

Common Symptoms Of Dementia

Not knowing the symptoms of dementia causes inevitable delays in its diagnosis. Delays in diagnosing dementia may have clinical and social implications for people with dementia and their families. Most people with dementia or their families sometimes wait up to three years after the onset the symptoms of dementia before they discuss the symptoms with a doctor and receive a diagnosis. The consequence of this delay is a lost opportunity for early medical and social interventions for persons with dementia and their families. The timeline observed suggests that levels of daily functioning were substantially impaired well before a diagnosis was made or resources were used.

Stigma and misinterpretation of symptoms of dementia often contribute to delays in seeking treatment. Education about early symptoms of dementia and how and when to act on them, could aid an early recognition of symptoms of dementia. With an earlier diagnosis, healthcare professionals could address the needs presented at an earlier stage, and can approach persons with dementia and their families to accelerate diagnosis, which would lead to treatment.

As the incidence of dementia increases, it will become more important for our health system to have the tools to support early diagnosis to allow earlier clinical and social intervention. Healthcare professionals are faced with the need to educate the public about the early symptoms of dementia in order to expedite care and delay rapid deterioration of daily function in the early stages. Here are themost common symptoms of dementia that people should be aware of:

  • Memory of recent events
  • Difficulty performing familiar tasks
  • Repetitive questioning
  • Time and place disorientation
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Problems with abstract thinking
  • Misplacing things
  • Lack of concentration or attention
  • Personality changes
  • Loss of initiative

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