Symptoms and Warning Signs of Dementia

Symptoms and Warning Signs of Dementia

26 February 2024
Preliminary Diagnosis of Dementia

Warning signs: when to consult a doctor?


Dementia comprises a range of symptoms indicating gradual damage to brain functions. In the early stages, dementia is characterized by forgetfulness, difficulty retaining new information, and problems with concentration. Occasionally, behavioral problems may also manifest in the early stages of dementia.

Additional information on dementia

Forgetfulness or difficulty remembering are frequently experienced, particularly in older people. If you find that the tendency to forget starts to impact your daily functioning or interferes with your ability to carry out simple tasks, it is advisable to consult your family doctor. If required, your family doctor will refer you to a specialist in the field (a geriatrician, neurologist, or psychiatrist).

Additional information on the difference between cognitive decline and dementia

At present, there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease. However, there are various methods available to slow down its progression.

Evidence suggests that engaging in cognitive activities during the early stages of the disease can help maintain capabilities and slow down its progression. In the advanced stages, patients can benefit from a positive experience through touch and stimulation of the senses.

It is important to diagnose dementia for several reasons:

  • There are multiple diseases that can result in dementia, with Alzheimer's disease being the most prevalent among them but not the only one. Each disease has its own unique progression and treatment, and early diagnosis allows for tailored treatments to be implemented.
  • Occasionally, memory decline is not associated with dementia but with other treatable diseases such as depression, hypothyroidism, inflammation, dehydration, or the side effects of a disease. In these cases, diagnosis and treatment can play a crucial role in achieving substantial improvement or even recovery.
  • In the early stages of the disease, medication therapy can be customized to alleviate the symptoms associated with it.
  • A diagnosis will allow your family and you to prepare in advance for the expected changes due to the progression of the disease. In the early stages, you can express your preferences concerning future medical treatment, financial management, and other significant matters that are important to you. Additionally, an early diagnosis can help families cope better with the situation.

In most cases, Alzheimer's disease does not have a clear genetic component, and there is no recommendation for genetic testing to identify dementia within the family. In rare instances where Alzheimer's disease appears at an early age, there is an identified genetic factor. In this case, the gene causing the disease within the family can be detected; however, the progression of the disease cannot be prevented.

According to specialists’ estimates, a third of dementia cases are caused by risk factors associated with lifestyle habits.

For further information on dementia prevention