Alzheimer Dementia

10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease: An In-Depth Guide

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Dementia and Alzhiemer’s disease pose significant challenges to daily life, and while there aren’t specific ways to prevent it, it is possible to reduce the risks and prepare for a fulfilling life in the long run. Let us explore some early signs and symptoms of these conditions and learn to counteract it with expert backed advice. 

Introduction to Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease

Dementia is a group of conditions which are characterized by cognitive decline including memory, reasoning and ability to perform everyday tasks. Alzheimer’s disease is one such form of dementia where brain cells and connections deteriorate over time, leading to memory loss and impairment in thinking. These conditions are challenging for both the individual and caregivers to manage, but by taking the right steps and recognising the early signs of dementia and alzheimer’s disease, it is possible to reduce the risk of developing them. 

Impact of Early-Onset of Alzheimer's and Dementia

Signs of early-onset of alzheimer’s and dementia can be highly disruptive and negatively impact careers, relationships and general independence of the person. When daily functioning, cognitive decline and potential alterations in personality happen at an age at a relatively younger age, it can cause deep emotional distress for both patients and their families. 

Importance of Awareness and Early Demenia and Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

Over the years, studies have added to our knowledge of these conditions, and we now have a clearer understanding on the proactive measures one can take to slow down its progression and reduce its risks. With the right kind of education and destigmatization, we can ensure that more people work actively towards incorporating the right practices into their routine. Spotting the condition at an early stage is also invaluable and provides ample opportunities for the person to live a fulfilling life, regardless of age. 

Common Early Signs of Dementia

Dementia manifests itself in unique ways in different people, but some early signs allow professionals to recognize the condition and provide care immediately. That said, remember that self-diagnosis can be dangerous. Some symptoms may overlap with other conditions, and mild symptoms don’t necessarily mean that you may be developing dementia. With that out of the way, here are some common signs of early onset of dementia. 

1. Forgetfulness and Confusion

Being absent-minded in everyday life is normal and a shared experience among many. Forgetfulness on a regular basis, however, goes beyond that. Individuals may struggle to recall recently learned information or forget appointments and schedules. This cognitive decline can subsequently  lead to confusion about time, places, and people. 

2. Changes in Behavior and Personality

Cognitive decline, outside of its practical implications can take an emotional and mental toll on the individual. Constant confusion and inability to perform tasks can lead to a gradual shift in behavior and personality among those with dementia. Mood swings, agitation and withdrawal may become common themes as a result of cognitive decline. 

3. Difficulty with Familiar Tasks

Being unable to concentrate on tasks is not unusual among human beings, but when familiar tasks become progressively difficult, it can be an indicator of cognitive impairment. Struggling to perform routine activities an individual once mastered, such as cooking or managing finances, leads to further frustration and a sense of incompetence.

4. Decline in Judgment and Decision-Making Abilities

Dementia, especially when developed early can be seen to affect judgment and decision making. Due to impairment in reasoning and memory, individuals may make poor choices in personal life, errors in financial management, or behave in unexpected ways in social situations. These decisions can also be as a result of existing confusion and lowered self-esteem that stems from dementia. 

5. Social Withdrawal and Reduced Work Engagement

As an individual grapples with confusion, memory impairment and other challenges, they tend to withdraw from social activities and show less interest in work or hobbies. Apart from the increased difficulty one would find to complete some tasks, the social stigma may also be a contributing factor such as social isolation. 

Identifying Early Onset Alzheimer's

Alzhiemer’s despite being a form of dementia, has some unique signs that differentiates itself from other types of cognitive decline related conditions. Some of these include: 

1. Challenges in Planning and Problem Solving

People with Alzheimer’s tend to struggle with tasks requiring organizational skills. These don’t necessarily have to be related to work and revolve around everyday tasks managing finances or following directions and recipes. While forgetfulness is not unusual, persistence of such symptoms reflects a distinctive cognitive shift, not typical of normal aging. 

2. Difficulty in Communication and Language

Consistent difficulty in communicating and utilizing language is one of the most common indicators of Alzheimer’s. An individual might repeat themselves often, sound incoherent while expressing their thoughts or take time to find the right words before speaking. These symptoms are a result of the damage to the regions of the brain responsible for language processing, making daily conversations harder and often frustrating. 

3. Disorientation in Time and Place

Disorientation in time and place is often associated with individuals with this condition as they may lose track of time, dates, seasons, and generally struggle to keep up with the passage of time. They may also become confused about their current location or places they travel to, even in familiar settings. With increased damage to regions of the brain responsible for spatial and temporal awareness, individuals are disoriented. 

4. Challenges with Visual Perception and Spatial Awareness

Challenges with visual perception and spatial awareness over a prolonged period are among the common early signs of Alzheimer's disease. Individuals may struggle with interpreting spaces, distances, heights, misjudge colors or objects, and face difficulty in recognizing familiar surroundings or finding coordination when moving objects are involved. 

5. Issues with Misplacing Items and Recalling Steps

Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease are often found misplacing items and recalling steps. They lose track of belongings since they cannot decide on a specific location to keep them and instead place them in varying, unusual spaces. They may also lose track of their usual sequence of events from cooking to cleaning or getting dressed. 

Differentiating Between Late-Onset and Early-Onset of Alzheimer's and Dementia

As we’ve discussed already, late-onset dementia and Alzheimer's are not too uncommon, and exhibit specific characteristics while early-onset of these conditions manifest in unique ways and impact people differently, especially considering they may be working actively. 

  • Late-Onset vs. Early-Onset of Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Key Characteristics

Late-onset dementia typically emerges after the age of 65. It is characterized by memory loss, cognitive decline, and varying levels of behavioral changes. Early-onset dementia on the other hand manifests before age 65 and can appear as early as in one's 30s or 40s. While Alzheimer's remains a common occurrence, other forms like frontotemporal dementia may also occur. Early-onset cases often exhibit faster progression and managing it at the earliest thus becomes a priority. Both variants share key symptoms but the age of onset increases the emphasis for age-specific diagnostic considerations and targeted treatments. 

  • Genetic Factors: Late-Onset vs. early onset of Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Genetic factors are said to play a pivotal role in both early-onset and late-onset dementia and Alzheimer's disease. However, genetics plays a more significant role in early-onset cases, particularly familial Alzheimer's disease. That said, Alzheimer’s that directly arise out of genetic issues are not prominent, and most dementia cases occur through various interdependent environmental and lifestyle factors. 

  • Lifestyle and Environmental Influences: Late-Onset vs. Early-Onset

Lifestyle and environmental influences often help us further differentiate late-onset and early-onset dementia. Late-onset cases are often influenced by a combination of factors like cardiovascular health, age-related changes, and overall lifestyle choices. In contrast, early-onset cases may involve specific genetic mutations, along with existing lifestyle factors. That said, lifestyle adjustments involving diet, exercise, and cognitive engagement, play a crucial role in reducing risks of both variants. 

  • Diagnosis and Treatment: Comparing Early and Late Onset

Diagnosis of both early and late onset cases of dementia involves evaluating the cognitive decline that a person is going through. That said, since early onset cases can be linked to genetic issues, it may necessitate genetic testing for hereditary factors. A comprehensive analysis of one’s medical history and possible imaging studies may also be conducted. As for treatment, while there may not be a direct cure, professionals focus on symptom management, lifestyle adjustments, and regular expertise backed support for both the patient and the caregivers

When to Seek Medical Advice

When one observes prolonged cognitive decline in the form of memory loss, difficulty with familiar tasks, challenges in communication, and behavioral shifts, it is the right time to seek medical advice. Age-related forgetfulness is normal, but noticeable, consistent changes in managing daily life may warrant professional attention. 

Consulting Healthcare Professionals

Consulting a healthcare professional for dementia is crucial as they provide a comprehensive evaluation that helps you not just identify your concerns at the earliest, but also puts you on your path to taking control of it. This evaluation may involve medical history review, cognitive assessments, and imaging studies. This valuable information enhances the potential for supportive strategies, lifestyle modifications, and potential medications that may slow cognitive decline. 

Preparing for a Medical Evaluation

Before you visit a professional for a medical check up, remember to compile a detailed medical history and be prepared to describe the exact symptoms and changes in cognitive function that you may have faced. Ensure to share the relevant family history as well as provide a list of current medications and supplements. It is advised to bring a trusted family member or loved one to the expert while you discuss your specific concerns and answer the questions posed by the examiner. 

Empowering Actions with Cadabams: Next Steps After Recognizing Early Signs of Dementia and Alzheimer's

Alzheimer’s and dementia can be highly debilitating and difficult to tackle for both the person affected and their loved one. It is thus important to approach them with compassion, patience, and a deep acknowledgment of the unique journey they navigate. While healthcare experts provide intense care and support, mental health support is crucial in guiding individuals and families through the next steps. 

If you are searching for a solution to your problem, Cadabam’s Hospitals can help you with its team of specialized experts. We have been helping thousands of people live healthier and happier lives for 30+ years. We leverage evidence-based approaches and holistic treatment methods to help individuals effectively manage dementia and alzheimer’s. Get in touch with us today. You can call us at +91 97414 76476. You can even email us at



1. How can you tell if dementia or Alzheimer's is early?

Early signs of dementia or Alzheimer's include forgetfulness, confusion, difficulty with familiar tasks, changes in behavior, and challenges in communication. 

2. What is the first stage of dementia?

The first stage of dementia often involves mild cognitive decline, where individuals may experience subtle memory lapses and occasional difficulties in performing routine tasks.

3. What age is early onset dementia?

Early-onset dementia typically manifests before the age of 65, sometimes appearing in one's 30s or 40s. It differs from late-onset cases, which commonly occur after the age of 65.

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