There are many symptoms that a person with dementia will experience. Many symptoms of dementia are noticeable early on. The most common symptoms are impairments with memory and judgment, with one of the first symptoms of dementia being a decline in memory.
Dementia is caused by degeneration in the brain, specifically in the cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex is the part of the brain responsible for personality, thoughts, and memories. When this part of the brain begins to deteriorate it can lead to cognitive impairment and the symptoms of dementia. There are a few reasons why degeneration in the brain occurs. Infections are one reason, but metabolic causes, brain tumors and other illnesses that are progressive in nature can also affect the brain.
As memory loss begins, a person with dementia will start to experience forgetfulness. They may forget their age, the name of their neighbors, or there next task at hand. Misplacing things is also a sign that a person could be developing dementia. Memory loss will also affect the speech and problems with language may occur. People with dementia often have problems finding a substitute for words or finding the right words to say.
Another sign of early dementia is a disorientation with place and time. Commonly arriving at destinations while not be completely sure how they got there is early evidence of dementia. In addition to this uncertainty, a person with dementia could forget where they live or the day of the week.
According to Alzheimer's Disease International, the most noticeable symptom of dementia is a change in personality. Dementia causes people to become less like themselves and to have mood swings. The individual could experience intense amounts of excitability or even depression.
The main risk factor for dementia is age, with people over the age of 65 at higher risk. The symptoms of dementia often starts between ages 65 and 74 and the risk of dementia doubles after the age of 74. The older the person is, the more likely they may have symptoms of dementia.
Eventually once the dementia has set in, a person will experience significant mental decline the personality changes will become more radical. Eventually, a complete loss of judgment will occur in the patient. A neglect of personal safety, nutrition, and hygiene will soon follow. Dementia can be a terrible experience for those who are suffering from the illness as well as family members who must care for a loved one who is suffering.