‘I’m a doctor – here are relatively unknown dementia symptoms to be aware of’

‘I’m a doctor – here are relatively unknown dementia symptoms to be aware of’


Dr Hilary lists the early symptoms of dementia

The popular depiction of dementia usually revolves around an older person who struggles with remembering things.

While the mind-robbing condition can strike at an older age with memory loss ringing alarm bells, this is not the only way dementia can rear its ugly head.

Dr William Wong, a Consultant General Practitioner at Fitzrovia Medical Clinic, said: “Most people are aware of the more prominent symptoms, such as slowed thinking processes, but there are a few relatively unknown or under-appreciated symptoms of dementia as well.”

The doctor explained that one of these lesser-known signs is sensory issues.

He said: “This will often include having problems with depth perception, an exceptional sensitivity to noise, issues with spatial awareness, as well as general changes in tastes and smells.”

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Another sign that can ring alarm bells is mood and personality changes.

Dr Wong shared that a person with dementia might become unusually irritable and experience exacerbated mood swings.

While these signs can strike early, it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact time of onset because of several reasons.

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The doctor said: “People’s cognitive makeup varies from person to person – one person might be more susceptible to suffering a decline in spatial awareness, and another person might notice that their sense of smell and taste has eroded before anything else.

“Another problem with noticing the onset of these types of symptoms is that, often, the affected individuals are old enough that they may already have impeded sensory perception.

“Most people suffering from dementia begin to have symptoms after the age of 60, which is when their senses may have already started to decline simply due to old age.”

However, you should see a doctor if you or someone you know starts presenting with dementia symptoms.

Dr Wong added: “They’ll be able to point you in the right direction to help manage the symptoms. 

“I’d also have a look in your local community to see if there are any support groups or resources for additional guidance.”

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