Four early signs of dementia that aren’t always recognised as symptom

Dr Hilary lists the early symptoms of dementia

Without a cure in sight, the greatest weapon in the fight against dementia is early detection.

An early diagnosis opens the door to future care and treatment, making symptom awareness front and centre.

While memory problems are often the first to ring alarm bells, Bernadette Mossman, dementia expert and Healthcare Director at Vida Healthcare, told that early signs are often more nuanced.

Mossman said: “Not only are there several different types of dementia but symptoms can vary from person to person, which can make it tricky to spot. 

“[Some warning signs] are often underreported and not always recognised as a symptom of dementia.”

READ MORE Sitting for long periods could hike your dementia risk, new study finds

Fortunately, the expert shared some of the lesser-known symptoms which “may be more difficult to detect”.

Mossman recommended looking out for the following red flags of dementia:

  • Sensory issues (depth perception and spatial awareness)
  • A sensitivity to noise
  • Changes to taste and smell
  • Vision problems.

She explained that a patient with the mind-robbing condition can experience sensory issues in relation to distance and space.

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Mossman said your ability to judge the distance between two objects or your awareness of objects in space and your body’s position in relation to them can become distorted.

Furthermore, sudden vision loss which can be triggered by Alzheimer’s disease could also ring alarm bells.

She said: “In the earliest stages of the disease, some may find it difficult to read small text and also skip lines when reading. 

“Reduced gaze is the clinical term for the dementia symptom that alters people’s ability to move their eyes normally. 

“This may be noticed by others as it may mean the individual looks like they are staring, but the person living with dementia is not aware of this.”

Mossman added that all of these symptoms can strike in the “early stages” of the brain condition.

However, they may not be noticed as “easily” as signs like memory loss and confusion, she added.

Therefore, the expert recommended booking a doctor’s appointment if you or a family member are suffering from the symptoms described above.

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