Pre-senile dementia afflicts individuals during middle age, usually between ages 45 and 55, and is much less common than dementia in the elderly. There are several symptoms you should be aware of that will help you to recognise if you or your loved one may be experiencing the onset of pre-senile dementia.
Pre-senile dementia affects the ability to remember. It will often appear as simple forgetfulness at first, and is diagnosed as dementia only after other possibilities are ruled out. Circumstances that can cause forgetfulness include being overtired, certain medications, stress and the abuse of drugs and alcohol. Forgetfulness as a result of dementia will progress and is often not reversible.
Speech impairments may develop--words are simply forgotten and replaced with cursing or slurring. Everyone at some point forgets a word or two, but with pre-senile dementia it is much more difficult to remember words, and it always gets worse. The cursing is beyond the control of the person with dementia.
It is normal to misplace items, but people with pre-senile dementia will place items inside the microwave or hide them under something for no apparent reason. They will where they hid the items. An example is placing clean clothes inside kitchen cabinets rather than in dresser drawers.
Many people who struggle with pre-senile dementia develop changes in mood and behaviour, smiling and happy one minute and upset or angry the next. The mood swings are similar to bipolar disorder, but the dementia is diagnosed by the combination of memory loss with the behavioural changes. Sometimes the memory loss triggers the mood swings. It is also common for dementia patients to become rude and provocative to others for no reason.
Loss of Ambition
As dementia starts to fully control the mind and body, many people start to lose their drive to participate or be involved in anything. A person with dementia may fear leaving his or her comfort zone because he or she is uncertain of what may happen. The best help you can give is to persuade this individual to remain involved in activities for as long as possible.
People with dementia eventually develop poor hygiene because they will forget how to take care of themselves. Simple tasks such as bathing, changing undergarments, and hand washing are completely forgotten. This often develops in later stages of dementia. Eventually, complete helplessness will occur.
Pre-senile dementia can be caused by many factors such as Alzheimer's Disease, alcohol abuse, brain tumours, strokes and head injuries. Dementia can develop slowly or occur instantaneously. It is especially important to learn the signs of dementia so that changes can be immediately reported to your doctor. Dementia is not always curable, but it is treatable.
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