The signs of dementia and what they could really mean

Look for the real signs of dementia, and learn what to do next.
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There's a lot it could be.

Forgetting things is often jokingly referred to as ‘old timers’ syndrome, but being diagnosed with dementia is not a laughing matter.

Lisa Hee, Director of Healthy Ageing and Dementia programs at CQ University said many people fear they are getting dementia because they get forgetful, but that wasn’t always the case.

There are so many causes and symptoms that she said it can often be hard to diagnose.

Basically dementia is a chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes that can interfere with daily life, with symptoms of memory loss, personality changes and impaired reasoning.

Alzheimer’s Disease is one of 100 types of dementia, and is the most common in Australia.

It is not unusual to start seeing symptoms of dementia with people in their 50s, but there are cases of people in their 30s and even 20s who have the disorder.

So how do you know if it is happening to you?

“Constantly losing your keys is not a sign of dementia,” Lisa said.

“Finding your keys and not knowing what they are or what they are for can be a sign.”

Feelings of confusion can be a sign of dementia, but they can also be a sign of having an infection or being dehydrated.

Mood changes, such as withdrawing from people or social activities they loved in the past and becoming self obsessed, can be signs as is someone who becomes disoriented in an area that should be familiar to them.

Aggressive behaviour is not a symptom of dementia; instead it is a result of other symptoms, which then bring on frustration, pain, suspicion, fear and an inability to communicate.

“Up to 95 per cent of aggressive behaviour is not dementia, it is being overwhelmed, such as when they don’t know where they are and they get frightened,” Lisa said.

It is important to get expert advice if you or a loved one is showing signs of early dementia.

Professional evaluation may detect a treatable condition and early diagnosis will allow the right treatments.

Lisa Hee has written a book about dealing with dementia.
Lisa Hee has written a book about dealing with dementia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lisa co-authored the book Dementia Practical Insights, and also runs Elite Health Care Australia, a training and management service for aged care facilities and individuals.

From an early age she was involved with caring for her grandmother who had dementia.

Lisa then went on to work in nursing and then started training nurses in how to care for elderly patients.

Have you experienced dementia in your family? Do you do brain-training exercises to ward of deterioration? 

  1. Hans de Rycke, App. Kin. Clin. Kin.  

    Dr. Lita Lee, author of The Enzyme Cure, will flat out tell you, “I have never believed that people ‘just go nuts.’ I have always believed that abnormal brain chemistry leading to mental problems is a direct result of abnormal body chemistry, poor nutrition and hormonal imbalances. ” A landmark case was noted by Dr. Theron Randolph in 1949 when he saw a female patient go psychotic after eating beets. When she was retested, the insanity returned.
    A woman was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for depression at the age of eighteen. Months of psychiatric drug use followed. “Years later,” she wrote, “I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as well as debilitating food allergies to foods I’ve eaten every day of my life! This was the true cause of my depression.” After she addressed the real problem, “Life became brighter. I became motivated and optimistic. I began to feel like the old me from a long, long time ago.”
    In testing patients classified as “schizophrenic,” Dr. William Philpott found that 92% reacted to one or more substances as follows:

    · Wheat – 64%
    · Mature corn – 51%
    · Pasteurized whole cow milk – 50%
    · Tobacco – 75% with 10% becoming grossly psychotic, with delusions, hallucinations, and, especially, paranoia
    · Hydrocarbons – 30%. Weakness was common. Some participants reacted with delusions or suicidal inclinations.

    Alzheimer’s disease may respond to zinc supplementation.  In one study in which elderly patients with Alzheimer’s were given 27 milligrams of zinc daily, improvements in memory, understanding, communication, and social contact were incredible. Higher doses might have better results. (Constantinidis, J.  (1992).  Treatment 0f Alzheimer’s disease by zinc compounds. Drug Develop Res, 27, 1-14.)

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