Dementia care: Early signs of the condition to look out for


Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of progressive neurological disorders. There are more than 200 different subtypes of dementia, but the most common are Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia and mixed dementia. A memory clinic could be one of the best and earliest indicators of your risk.

A study has made an important contribution to this effort, highlighting the role that self-perception may play in indicating Alzheimer’s.

A research team led by the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) concluded that personal perception can be an important indicator for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease.

In a study of 449 older adults, published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, the scientists report that individuals with subjectively felt memory problems also exhibited on average measurable cognitive deficits that were associated with abnormalities in the spinal fluid.

READ MORE: Dementia: Pioneering new test may help to determine dementia risk, finds new study

Lead author of the study, Dr Steffen Wolfsgruber said: “We were able to show that those people who turned to a memory clinic because of SCD had measurable, albeit only mild cognitive deficits.

“The findings are based on extensive testing, refined data analysis and the relatively large number of people examined.

“This significantly improved measurement sensitivity. Thus, we found that study participants considered to be healthy generally scored better in mental performance than memory clinic patients with SCD,” said Dr Steffen Wolfsgruber.

How to prevent condition

There’s currently no known way to prevent frontotemporal dementia, but certain lifestyle interventions have been shown to slow down the onset of the syndrome.

In a ground-breaking study which looked into the relationship between lifestyle factors and frontotemporal dementia, researchers found that a physically and mentally active lifestyle confers resilience to frontotemporal dementia.

The finding was also found to be consistent in participants who had a genetic profile that made them more prone to develop this type of dementia.



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