Alzheimers Research UK explain 'what is dementia?'
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Financial issues – where there wasn’t before – could be one of the early warning signs of dementia; paired with other eye-raising prompts, it might be time to see a neurological specialist. One organisation that has a swathe of experience with dementia is the care home Home Care Assistance. Recognised as an industry leader by the Alzheimer’s Association, its experts highlighted the two money issues that may portend dementia.
One possible early warning sign of dementia is buying items but not remembering why they were bought in the first place.
Another likely indication of dementia is giving money to telemarketers or strangers when the person didn’t do this beforehand.
Dementia diminishes a person’s ability to think, remember and to reason, which is why such money issues can appear.
The Home Care Association also listed other possible money issues that might arise. This includes:
- No longer be able to keep track of spending
- Leave unpaid bills to stack up
- Leave an inappropriately large tip or not know how to settle the check
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Aside from financial irregularities, vision issues can also be an early indication of the brain disease.
People may begin to struggle seeing the difference in colour or contrast, and may find it hard to judge distances.
This can cause ill judgements when trying to place a cup on the table, causing the cup to fall to the floor, which may be mistaken for clumsiness.
One issue that is far more likely to be picked up by other people is the inability to follow a conversation.
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This may present as someone talking and then stopping abruptly in the middle of the conversation.
It can also be telling if the affected person can’t remember the name of a common object, such as the kettle, without the word coming back into memory.
Noticing any “abrupt changes” in personality can also be a warning sign of dementia.
What causes dementia?
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) pointed out that Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia.
The strongest risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease is increasing age, especially over the age of 65.
There does seem to be some sort of genetic link too, as people who have siblings or parents with the brain disease are more likely to develop it themselves.
Poor heart health also tends to be another factor, such as having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking.
The charity Dementia UK explained that “plaques” and “tangles” form in the brain when a person has Alzheimer’s disease.
Amyloid is a naturally occurring protein in the brain that malfunctions and creates the toxic version, beta amyloid, that forms into a plaque with dead cells.
Tau protein is also a naturally occurring protein in the brain that then abnormally starts to clump together.
This causes brain cells to die; these two malfunctioning proteins cause the brain to deteriorate in functioning.
“Research suggests that changes in the brain can occur up to 10 years before a person starts to show symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease,” the charity warned.
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