Dementia is the name given to a group of symptoms linked to an ongoing decline in brain function. You could be at risk of the neurodegenerative condition if you find small changes to your usual demeanour.
There are a number of different types of dementia, and the most common in the UK is Alzheimer’s disease.
Diagnosing the condition early could help to slow down the condition’s progress.
Making some small lifestyle changes could lower your chances of developing Alzheimer’s in later life.
One of the key early warning signs of dementia is changes to your personality and behaviour.
Some Alzheimer’s patients may become more socially withdrawn, warned the Mayo Clinic.
Even if the patient isn’t necessarily a massive socialite, they may become more inclusive than expected.
It could also lead to changes to your sleeping habits, or an unusual distrust in others, it added.
If you notice a number of small changes to your behaviours, you should consider speaking to a doctor.
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“The early signs of the disease may be forgetting recent events or conversations,” it said.
“As the disease progresses, a person with Alzheimer’s disease will develop severe memory impairment and lose the ability to carry out everyday tasks.
“Brain changes that occur in Alzheimer’s disease can affect moods and behaviors.
“Problems may include the following depression, apathy, social withdrawal, mood swings, distrust in others, irritability and aggressiveness, changes in sleeping habits, wandering, loss of inhibitions, [and] delusions, such as believing something has been stolen.”
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Alzheimer’s patients may also misinterpret certain objects.
Their eyes see the correct object, but their brains may not accurately interpret them.
The dementia could also lead to decreased peripheral vision.
A reduced side vision increases the risk of bumping into objects, or tripping over as you walk, it warned.
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There’s no certain way to prevent dementia from developing, but there are ways to lower your risk, said the NHS.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet should help to lower your chances of developing dementia.
It’s also important to do enough exercise. Everyone should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week.
There are around 850,000 people in the UK with dementia, and the condition affects one in every six people over 80 years old.
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