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What are the first signs of dementia?

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Memory loss and trouble remembering people and events is usually the first sign of the dementia associated with Alzheimer’s, according to WebMD. Highly detailed visual hallucinations are often the first symptom to occur in individuals with Lewy body dementia, notes Mayo Clinic.

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Dementia symptoms differ based on the underlying cause and the region of the brain that is involved, but common symptoms include difficulty in speech and verbal expression, cognitive challenges when trying to carry out a detailed set of procedures or follow instructions, troubling handling a crisis, and difficulty with mood and impulse control, states WebMD. Often personal grooming is neglected, and states of agitation and depression may be frequent. Dementia involving the frontotemporal area of the brain often involves personality changes and inappropriate behaviors and comments.

Lewy body dementia sufferers tend to fall frequently, adds WebMD. In addition to visual hallucinations, some individuals experience auditory, olfactory and tactile hallucinations, explains Mayo Clinic. Movements may be slow, the gait shuffled and muscles rigid as seen in Parkinson’s disease. If the nervous system is affected, blood pressure, pulse and digestive system problems may be experienced. Cognitive challenges, such as confusion, memory loss, disorganized speech and shortened attention span, are often seen in Lewy body dementia, as well as depression, sleep disorders and daytime drowsiness. It is the second most common form of dementia.

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