Dementia is a condition marked by loss of memory and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life. It is caused by physical changes in the brain. The most common type of the condition is Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for 60 to 80 percent of all dementia cases.

While there are many symptoms of dementia, many incorrectly consider the serious mental decline only as a normal part of aging. Here are five symptoms and early warning signs of dementia you need to know.

1. Delirium after surgery

A recent study in Boston has found growing evidence that for older patients, experiencing delirium after surgery may be linked to long-term cognitive decline, which is a known indicator of Alzheimer’s disease. Out of the 560 participants, researchers found out that 134 of them experienced delirium. This group had a significant cognitive decline that those who did not.

2. Difficulty in remembering recent events

People who are at risk of having dementia may experience difficulty in remembering recent conversations, names or events. This symptom is often linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Among other warning signs include impaired communication, poor judgment, disorientation, confusion, behavior changes and difficulty speaking, swallowing and walking.

3. Prolonged sleeping

Prolonged sleep may also indicate dementia. A study led by Matthew Pase of Boston University School of Medicine, found that among the individuals who participated, those who recently started to sleep for more than nine hours have an increased likelihood of developing dementia. This is compared to those who had been sleeping for nine hours or more a night for more than 13 years.

4. Rosacea

Physical conditions may likewise indicate increased risk for dementia. In one study, individuals who had been diagnosed with rosacea had a 42 percent higher risk for dementia. Rosacea is a skin condition that affects mainly the face. It is characterized by severe redness and blushing of the skin.

5. Sudden changes in personality and behavior

On the other hand, sudden and long-time changes in a person’s mood, behavior and personality may also be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease. In a 2016 study, Nina Silverberg of the National Institute of Aging, said that while Alzheimer's disease is primarily considered to be a memory disorder, years of research show it can also start as a behavioral issue.

Diagnosis of dementia

Dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s, is diagnosed based on a careful medical history, physical examination, laboratory tests and the characteristic changes in thinking. Treatment of dementia depends on its cause.

Treatment and care

In the case of most progressive dementias, including Alzheimer's disease, there is no cure and no treatment that slows or stops its progression. But there are drug treatments that may temporarily improve symptoms. Non-drug therapies can also alleviate some symptoms of dementia.

What do you think of the five symptoms of dementia? Let us know in the comments section below.

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