13 Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Symptoms 2021

creutzfeldt jakob disease symptoms

Today, we will look at some of the most common Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease symptoms and signs of which you should be aware.

Let’s face it, went it comes to CJD, it is important to treat the condition as early as possible.

If it is your first time hearing of the disease, read along.

First and foremost, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or short CJD is a destructive brain disorder that leads to dementia and even death.

However, CJD is not that common and affects approximately one person in every one million per year. A person with the disease can die within a year.

First, in the early stages of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a person begins lacking memory, their vision gets blurry and even starts behaving out of place.

But these are just some of the symptoms of CJD. Moreover, when the condition progresses, a person can fall into a coma, get blind, depressed and experiences difficulty swallowing.

In short, CJD appears when prion protein gets damaged and deformed. When healthy, this protein does not cause any inconvenience to the body.

But everything changes drastically when prion does not perform as it should.

The main Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease symptoms

1. Behavioral changes

behavioral changes
Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD) is a deadly neurological disease that progressively destroys brain cells by creating small holes in the brain.

It is known to occur when prion protein that communicates message among different brain cells are damaged.

Once prion proteins are affected, they fold into an abnormal shape and in turn, they don’t function how they normally would.

When it affects the nervous system, someone experiences a series of signs and symptoms that require instant attention and care.

Some of Creutzfeldt-Jakob’s disease symptoms are psychological-based. The person affected by the illness displays a rollercoaster of behavior and emotions due to mental impairment and it gets worse with time.

2. Memory Impairment

memory impairment
When the damaging brain cells appear, the cognitive actions of individuals suffering from Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease deteriorate rapidly.

The affected person develops dementia where their memory becomes problematic and this affects their thinking skills as well.

Since the brain is incapacitated and unable to perform fully, the affected person is susceptible to confusion, disorientation and poor planning because they cannot think critically.

The person is unable to recall any recent events or exhibit general knowledge of simple things related to their surroundings.

It throws them into a state of disintegration and restlessness. With time, it may turn into distress or even depression.

3. Coordination Difficulties (Ataxia)

coordination difficulties ataxia
Difficulties with physical coordination is also another common Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease symptom.

As the illness progresses, the person with the illness develops neuromuscular defects leading to coordination dysfunction, voluntary muscle loss, and lacks of rhythm.

It happens because of the weakening of muscles and muscle mass loss, especially around the arms and legs. As a result, balance and coordination prove challenging affecting the ability to control different body parts.

Overall, it affects how someone speaks and they suddenly develop challenges walking comfortably. The assistance of a caregiver is necessary to lend them a hand to help them move around.

At the later stages, the person with the disease may suffer from the total loss of their physical and intellectual capabilities and they eventually slip into an unconscious state.

4. Slurred speech

slurred speech
Rogue prion protein damages the brain cells, making their communication ineffective. The speech of the affected person becomes incomprehensible and impaired.

They find that they are unable to communicate clearly to those around them or their caregivers. Their ability to express themselves becomes stunted or totally halted.

The reason is that a muscle tone known as hypotonia diminishes and also the tongue muscle weakness. It can even lead to facial paralysis.

When in such a state, the person with the disease may retreat into a state of isolation and despair as a result of the inevitable changes that their body is undergoing.

5. Impaired vision

impaired vision
One of the other Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease symptoms is vision impairment or total blindness. The visual signs are marked by complex visual disturbances, cortical blindness, supranuclear palsies, hallucinations, and diplopia.

When the infectious prion proteins are deposited on the cornea’s lymphoid tissue, which controls the immune response in the eye’s frontal section, the proteins damage the cortical region.

The damage results in poor vision or even hearing or seeing things that don’t really exist.

If the person with the disease develops blurry vision, it is a result of cortical damage and it may trigger discomfort making it crucial to visit an eye specialist for lasting solutions.

6. Increasing Confusion

increasing confusion
Due to memory loss and disturbed cognitive processes, a person suffering from CJD is likely to experience rapid confusion and feel overwhelmed by their current state.

They often acknowledge to themselves that they are unable to live their lives fully as before.

As another common Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease symptom, confusion leaves the affected person frustrated due to visual disturbances that make them unable to recognize simple things like their surroundings or how to get back home.

It causes them to wander around aimlessly and also feel unsafe in unfamiliar surroundings.

People with the disease often lose track of time and seasons so they require full-time care and guidance to handle their daily tasks.

7. Depression and Rapid Mood Swings

depression and rapid mood swings
As a result of the Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease taking a toll on someone battling with the illness, their mood tends to oscillate rapidly.

One moment they are happy and excited and the next minute they are agitated and irritated by their surroundings or situations that they previously enjoyed. The unexpected change sparks frustrations making them lapse into depression and despair.

They also become easily irritable and develop poor personal grooming and a loss of appetite leading to weight loss.

When out of their comfort zones, people with CJD tend to easily become upset. They may also exhibit inappropriate emotional responses like laughing when they receive or relay bad news or crying for no reason.

This may also leave their caregivers frustrated because the person becomes difficult to handle sometimes.

8. Withdrawal

withdrawal
People suffering from CJD tend to isolate themselves and withdraw from family and friends. To them, the usual activities or hobbies that they previously enjoyed no longer excite them.

It often stems from their inability to respond to social cues or the decline of their motor skills which makes them unable to perform or participate in any task.

It makes them feel embarrassed and this results in low self-esteem which makes them prefer to retreat to seclusion.

Also, being unproductive causes psychological distress to the persons with Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease so they choose to be by themselves.

The changes experienced during the course of the illness bring about an overall personality and behavioral change and it is wise to approach the person with the disease with utmost care.

9. Swallowing Difficulties

swallowing difficulties
The diminished performance of different body parts arises when the damaged brain cells stop functioning as they should also affect the muscles around the mouth.

It may make swallowing problematic and this may lead to malnutrition.

For instance, if the swallow reflex or the coordination of the throat muscles are affected, the affected person finds it hard to chew or move food in the mouth while at the pharyngeal stage.

At this stage, the tongue pushes the food back to the mouth triggering the swallow reflex as the windpipe closes briefly.

It poses an even greater risk of choking which could prove fatal. For sufficient nourishment, the caregivers should consider perennial feeding and consult with a physician.

10. Abnormal gait/walking

abnormal gaitwalking
Abnormal walking or gait is one of the other Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease symptoms that are common. It comes about due to the communication breakdown between the muscles and the brain.

As the nervous system is damaged, the body is unable to control intricate synchronized movements affecting normal walking.

Since normal walking requires the collective help of systems that oversee coordination, strength, and sensation, someone with CJD is often unable to sustain normal movements.

Also, the body of the person with the disease is unable to maintain a rigid posture; they experience unsteadiness and difficulty in balancing physical configurations as a normal person would.

11. Issues With Bladder and Bowel Control

issues with bladder and bowel control
When the communication between the brain cells that facilitate bladder and bowel function weakens, it leads to issues with bladder or bowel control.

As a result, someone with CJD may experience instances of uncontrolled urine or stool passage. When the brain cells are unable to communicate on when to contract the sphincter or rectal muscles, urinary or fecal incontinence is inevitable.

It often starts as leakage when passing gas and as the illness progresses the situation worsens. In such situations, the caregivers turn to products like diapers or tiny plugs to handle the situation.

However, if cases worsen or progress medical intervention is necessary.

12. Difficulty Sleeping

difficulty sleeping
While you might not have any of the signs mentioned here, have you taken a look at your sleeping behavior?

Chances are, you are experiencing insomnia and you are not even aware of the consequences it brings.

Indeed difficulty sleeping is one of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease symptoms which you should pay close attention to.

In other words, if you find that sleeping is troubling you and is not as quality as it used to be, you better talk to your doctor for any possible additional examination.

Let’s face it, without a good solid 7-8 hours worth of sleep, the long-term effects on our body can be catastrophic.

13. Numbness

numbness
When it comes to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease symptoms, one of them is numbness that can occur in some parts of the body.

Whether it’s fingers on hands or feet or even the whole arm, it can happen that a patient loses a sense of feel.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease symptoms conclusion

As a caregiver or even a family member, you should always pay close attention to all kinds of changes in the body, both physical and mental.

Those small shifts can help take action early enough to prescribe the right treatment and alleviate the condition.

In the majority of cases, we act almost too late, so make sure that’s not you. Let these symptoms help you discovering Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease as soon as possible.

Alcohol Dementia (Symptoms & Treatments)

alcohol dementia

We are observing the negative effects and health problems of alcohol daily, including alcohol dementia.

This is a health condition that leads to SEVERE cognitive issues as well as improper neurological functioning.

Alcohol-Related Dementia

It is one of the detrimental effects of alcohol on the human body that not many people are aware of.

The illness can affect any person at any age more so the ones who are into consuming LARGE quantities of alcohol over a short period.

It is unlike other dementia types that normally affect the elderly.

This kind of intoxication deprives the body of important nutrients causing brain damage as well as harmful effects to major organs in the body. Including pancreas, liver, kidneys, and many more.

Note that alcohol has a direct negative effect on brain cells.

This results in a lack of insight, poor judgment, and difficulties making proper decisions. To some extent, alcohol-induced dementia is similar to Alzheimer’s disease.

They both affect COGNITIVE and MEMORY abilities.

Symptoms of Alcohol Dementia

symptoms of alcohol dementia
Alcohol-related dementia is influenced by two important factors:

Korsakoff syndrome

This is a condition that translates through frequent episodes of confusion, depression, memory issues, and inability to speak among others.

Dementia and alcohol are related in this case because excessive alcohol consumption prevents normal neurological functioning.

This leads to the development of dementia in people who abuse alcohol.

Wernicke’s encephalopathy

This occurs when an individual does not have a vitamin known as thiamine in their body.

Over-the-top drinking and vomiting normally cause this.

Drinking too much alcohol regularly results in thiamine deficiency.

Experts reckon that alcoholics typically develop Wernicke’s encephalopathy first, which then causes Korsakoff syndrome.

Ultimately, the SEVERE MEMORY ISSUES that are associated with Korsakoff syndrome will result in dementia that is caused by alcoholism.

Check out some of the most common symptoms that people who have dementia caused by alcoholism showcase.

Confusion

confusion
This is one of the most common symptoms of this kind of dementia. People with the illness appear not to be in a position to think clearly.

Many feel disoriented and have a tough time making decisions or focusing.

Confusion normally makes a person experience sudden emotional changes like being agitated out of the blues.

An individual may also have incoherent speech and lack awareness of time or location.

Repetition

A high percentage of individuals who have this illness will find themselves telling the same story over and over again without even realizing it.

In line with this, some will also ask the same question repeatedly because THEY HAVE NO recollection of the queries that have just been asked or answered.

When having a conversation with such individuals, do not be shocked if they keep repeating the same information over ten times.

Impulsivity problems

A person who has alcohol dementia may start to be reckless with their finances.

This is where an individual may get into a habit of making rash financial decisions purchasing items they do not need.

They may also become too generous with their money giving it out aimlessly.

Such people usually have a DIFFICULT time CONTROLLING EMOTIONS. One minute they may be the happiest beings on earth and the next they start crying.

Inability to perform motor tasks

You may notice that a person who has alcohol-related dementia has challenges performing both simple and complex motor tasks.

These can include walking, running, getting dressed, or getting up and down a flight of stairs.

Heavy alcohol abusers also experience damage to nerves in their legs and arms.

These people normally have issues with sensation, and they might also demonstrate unsteadiness on their feet.

An array of psychiatric problems

an array of psychiatric problems
Dementia that relates to alcohol is also known to produce various psychiatric issues. These can include disconnect from reality (psychosis), anxiety, depression, and changes in personality.

Some may also develop apathy which can be MISTAKEN for depression.

Impaired ability to learn new things

It can become very difficult for a person who has this type of dementia to start learning new things. This is because damage to the brain affects its comprehending and processing ability.

Other symptoms may include but are not limited to frequent headaches, anger episodes, slurred speech, mood swings, decreased spontaneity and initiative, and memory gaps.

Oddly, persons who have alcohol-related dementia may seem to be in total control of their faculties drawing correct deductions, playing games that require mental skills like cards or chess, and making witty remarks, etc.

Before concluding that a person has alcohol-related dementia, you must seek the services of a professional or doctor.

Because of the symptoms that the illness has, it becomes difficult to tell right away that dementia has been caused by alcohol abuse.

Doctors, however, can conduct several proper tests to come up with the right diagnosis.

The professionals will also be in a position to advise on how to combat the illness in the right way, depending on the individual.

Treatment for Alcohol Dementia

treatment for alcohol dementia
It is advisable to start treating alcohol-related dementia as fast as possible.

If we detect this dementia early enough, it means that the damage to the nerves and brain will not be excessive.

While the treatment process can be quite stressful for candidates with alcohol-induced dementia, it is necessary, if a person wants to PREVENT further health problems or death.

Studies show that women have more success reversing the effects of alcohol-related dementia than men.

Both genders, nonetheless, require support from their friends and family while undergoing treatment.

There are several treatment options that a person who has this dementia type can explore such as:

Quitting Alcohol

To cure this type of dementia, a person simply needs to quit drinking alcohol. When a person stops taking alcohol, it prevents further damage to nerves and brain function.

People with the illness can also show improvement by improving diet and exercising.

Alcoholism Treatment

alcoholism treatment
Quitting consumption of alcohol may not be the easiest thing to do. Doctors may put the person with dementia on alcoholism treatment when the situation is dire.

This typically consists of multiple IV infusions and therapies that attempt to replenish the vital nutrients the body has lost.

Most people will have to stay in a clinic or hospital for a certain period so that they can be monitored closely during the treatment.

Some who have the willing power may, however, go through alcoholism treatment successfully at home.

Others may even need a rehabilitation center to stay “clean.” This is because, during the treatment, a person MUST NOT touch even a single drop of alcohol.

It is usually a difficult moment because an alcoholic at this point has been used to the toxic substance to an extent that their bodies crave it and most feel like they cannot survive without a drink.

In such cases, alcoholism support groups can be helpful.

Thiamine Therapy

Thiamine therapy also helps with the treatment of dementia from the abuse of alcohol. This provides the body with the much-needed B1 or thiamine vitamin.

This vitamin is crucial in the body because it helps the brain cells convert sugar into energy.

When there is thiamine deficiency, it means that the brain cells will not have enough energy to function well.

The treatment comes highly recommended because it enhances the neurological functioning of people with alcohol-related dementia.

Additionally, it can also PREVENT this type of dementia FROM PROGRESSING to more dangerous stages.

Counseling

counselling
It is important to incorporate counseling as part of treating dementia caused by alcoholism. This is where the affected person gets a chance to talk to professional therapists.

It can help identify the root cause of the problem to eliminate it. After dealing with what causes a person to OVERINDULGE in alcohol, the chances of relapsing become slimmer.

Persons who have alcohol dementia may also benefit from services that memory clinics offer.

It is, therefore, wise to seek referrals from your doctor to point you in the direction of a good clinic.

You can also consider addiction programs that have been successful in helping people abstain from alcohol for the rest of their lives.

If the person who has dementia is living in a retirement community, remember to communicate this to the caregivers early enough. This is because not all communities may be aware of the health condition.

Some may not even have the proper resources to extend beneficial care.

If you find yourself in such a situation, continue searching until you can identify the community that will be the right fit.

Alcohol Dementia Final Remarks

To clarify things, alcohol dementia mostly affects people who drink EXCESSIVELY.

It is very rare for a person who gets tipsy once a week by having a few wine or beer glasses to develop the illness.

Individuals who are at risk are the ones who frequently intoxicate themselves with alcohol and suffer from hangover symptoms almost every day.

These are the people who are always feeling dizzy and vomit all the time.

Not treating the disease early enough can make it an incurable health condition.

Nonetheless, administering proper treatment on time gives alcoholics a chance to lead a happy, alcohol-free life.

12 Beginning Signs Of Dementia 2021

beginning signs of dementia

If you are aware of the beginning signs of dementia, you can do a lot in regards to helping both yourself and your love ones.

Dementia is a general term that describes a decline in mental ability that ends up interfering with a person’s life. Experts link its development to the brain, losing some of its nerve cells, causing the brain to malfunction.

The severity of the illness ranges from early stages, which affect how a person functions to severe stages where an individual loses their independence.

Dementia stereotypically affects seniors who are over the age of seventy, although some younger people may also get it. There are different types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease, vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, and mixed dementia, to name a few.

To confirm that a person has dementia, doctors carry several tests to confirm the individual does not have other illnesses. Dementia medical assessment may include a physical exam, studying the medical history, and neurological examinations.

Medical practitioners will also study the symptoms a person is showcasing to help them come up with a conclusive report. Before visiting the doctor, there are some eye-brow raising signs that a person or their loved ones may notice to indicate that everything is not right.

Below you will find some of the beginning signs of dementia that might tell a person is experiencing the early stages of the illness.

Beginning Signs Of Dementia

1. Memory Changes

beginning signs of dementia
One of the earliest sign of dementia is memory loss. This is where a person begins to forget important things that end up interfering with their day to day life.

At the onset of the disease, the affected individual may find that they are always asking for the same details over and over again. They may also have to rely more on notes that family members and loved ones write.

Many people also experience challenges remembering recent information or events.

Note that occasionally misplacing keys and remembering where you put them does not count as a memory loss issue that relates to dementia. This is because mild forgetfulness is usually a normal part of aging.

2. Trouble Problem Solving and Planning

trouble problem solving and planning
During the early stages of dementia, it is common for individuals to make plans and not go through with them. A person may have so many ideas for the future but does not focus on any.

Someone might not even be able to follow a simple recipe that they have used several times in the past.

During this stage, it may also become increasingly difficult to focus on detailed tasks, especially the ones that involve crunching numbers.

For instance, a senior may find that they can no longer balance a checkbook correctly, manage budgets, or even keep track of bills. One might not even comprehend the numbers and signs on a calculator compared to how skilled they were before.

3. Lack of Enthusiasm for Usual Activities

lack of enthusiasm for usual activities
Lack of interest in things that a person once loved and apathy are among the beginning signs of dementia.

You may notice that your loved one no longer cares about things like woodworking, knitting, or even meeting up with family members for get-togethers. Some will not even want to spend time with their grandkids, an activity they once treasured.

Most individuals who have dementia value seclusion and they want to stay away from other people.

It does not necessarily mean that they enjoy their company. At times, they may feel embarrassed about the changes that are starting to happen in their bodies.

4. Difficulties Completing Familiar Tasks At Work, At Home, Or Leisure

difficulties completing familiar tasks at work at home or leisure
When a person finds that it is tough to finish daily tasks successfully, it may be time to see a doctor for a dementia diagnosis. This is where one might not be able to finish dressing or even make breakfast on their own.

You may find that an individual starts to get into trouble with their boss for tasks that they seamlessly handled before. One might even get into their car and have to rack their brains to drive to a familiar place.

When a person gets together with their relations to play their favorite games, they may suddenly forget all the rules.

5. Disorientation to Time or Place

disorientation to time or place
When you suddenly wake up from deep sleep, it’s usually impossible to determine the location, day, and exact time right away. It is a phase of disorientation that quickly passes and you can get to know the above details.

This is what a person with dementia may experience regularly. Only that the intensity of the disorientation is typically way worse.

An individual may not be able to tell their location or why they are there. They may also not be able to figure out the current season. Some persons possibly will start believing they are much younger because they are oblivious of the passing time.

6. Problems Writing or Speaking

problems writing or speaking
Communication problems are ranked among the beginning signs of dementia. A person who is at the early dementia stages may no longer enjoy holding conversations because they do not flow naturally.

People around them may find it difficult to know what they are saying because words may be strewn all over the place in a way that does not make sense.

They can instantly forget what a person they are talking to has said; hence, not know what to replay. When writing, folks with dementia may perhaps find that their pieces have issues with punctuation, spelling, and grammar.

The illness occasionally affects a person’s handwriting, making it illegible.

7. Visual – Spatial Difficulties

visual spatial difficulties
Among the signs, you should observe when you suspect that a person has dementia is if there are any visual-spatial changes. It is where the elderly face a rough time when it comes to distances and depth perception. This is a sign that mostly affects driving because the driver cannot tell the correct distances.

Recognizing familiar faces or items becomes an uphill task.

Some cannot tell colors apart.

In such instances, a person may be forced to give up some things, like navigating stairs or reading a book because they cannot interpret what they see in front of their eyes.

8. Changes in Behavior

changes in behavior
In addition to being withdrawn and quiet, doctors might also look for changes in behavior as part of the beginning signs of dementia. An individual may go through a wide range of emotions when one second they are happy, and the next they are spewing anger and frustration.

They may, furthermore, develop anxiety and insecurity. Poor judgment can also crop up at this point.

You can observe someone putting daily items in uncommon places. For example, one might put store food in a washing machine and clothes and shoes in the refrigerator.

The person with dementia might also insist on putting on winter clothes during summer.

9. Engaging In Purposeless Activities

engaging in purposeless activities
If your loved one starts to engage in activities with no purpose, it might be an indication that they are starting to develop dementia.

Some of the things that people may do include packing and unpacking clothes, opening drawers without getting or putting anything and shutting them repeatedly, pacing and getting in and out of a door, among many others.

People who do not understand dementia might think that the person has lost their mind.

Experts explain that persons with dementia will act this way so that they can fulfill a need to be busy or do something productive with their time.

10. Loss of Sense of Touch and Motor Skills

loss of sense of touch and motor skills
Many people who develop dementia experience a loss of motor skills. Moreover, a sense of touch is among the beginning signs of dementia.

When it comes to fine motor skills, it is not rare to see a person’s hand trembling in that they cannot do easy tasks like buttoning a shirt or combing hair.

An individual with this progressive illness may also have a difficult time at the dining table because they cannot properly use cutlery.

Note that motor problems may also be an indication of another medical condition such as Parkinson’s disease. It is; therefore, essential to consult an expert doctor to know the illness this symptom is associated with.

11. Paranoia and Delusions

paranoia and delusions
Most people with dementia will experience delusions and paranoia at a later stage.

A small percentage, however, will experience this at the early stage of the illness. The individuals may at first have some suspicions that someone is taking their items or misinterpret the things they hear or see misinterpret.

This can fast graduate to the individual firmly believing that a person is trying to hurt or even kill them.

Additionally, they may also experience hallucinations or hearing, tasting, or smelling non-existent things.

For example, a person might start to hear voices or see the face of a person they have not seen in a while.

12. Lack of concentration

lack of concentration
It is widespread that a person with dementia starts to lack concentration. However, while older people begin to have a decrease in concentration naturally, it does not immediately mean they have dementia.

It is important to observe them over the course of several days, even a week or two, before making any decisions. That said, if you notice that their difficulty with concentration becomes troublesome, you should take them to the doctor or specialist as soon as possible.

The older adult begins to have evident issues with staying focused on a particular task, heck, even memorizing names and other information.

Closing Remarks

It is important to understand that dementia is progressive. This implies that the above symptoms may get worse while new ones may also crop up in later stages. At the onset of the disease, a person may still be independently requiring minimal supervision as they go about their daily life.

As time passes a person with dementia may find that they become increasingly dependent on caregivers.

Worth noting is that dementia does not affect everyone in a similar way. Each person has their unique experiences depending on factors like the type of dementia they have, the support they receive, environment, and personality.

14 Early Onset Dementia Symptoms 2021

early onset dementia symptoms

It is important to know and understand early onset dementia symptoms to act accordingly and see a doctor or a practitioner soon enough.

Dementia describes a syndrome where people experience deterioration in memory, behavior, thinking, and ability to perform daily activities.

Even though it is not part of the normal aging process, it usually affects older people who are above the age of 65.

However, some people will experience early onset dementia where they develop the illness before they celebrate their 65th birthday. Early onset dementia normally affects people who are in their 30s, 40s, and 50s.

Statistics indicate that about 200,000 individuals have early onset dementia. This covers approximately 5% of the population with dementia.

Diagnosis of younger onset dementia can be a frustrating process because most health providers do not look for dementia in younger people.

In most cases, there are usually conflicting reports from different practitioners since we can link the symptoms to stress or other related illnesses.

Dementia also affects people differently whether they are at the early, middle, or later stages. This means that different individuals will react differently and symptoms one showcase may also vary.

Below we look at some of the most common early onset dementia symptoms persons should be on the lookout for. These can help to get the correct diagnosis and treatment.

Common Early Onset Dementia Symptoms

1. Forgetfulness

forgetfulness
Forgetting a name, a date or where you placed your keys is a normal occurrence that does not ring any memory loss alarms. With early onset dementia, however, memory loss becomes prevalent. This is where you forget events or people who are an essential part of your life.

At times, you may even get to the kitchen to make your favorite snack or meal and completely forget the recipe. For some people, the route to work may appear strange.

A person can get notices on water and electricity bills even when they have never made a late payment in their life.

2. Feeling Overwhelmed

feeling overwhelmed
Feeling overly overwhelmed is another symptom that you can expect from someone who has younger onset dementia. It is where an individual is constantly nervous or scared about what the future holds.

For some people having to do one additional task from what they normally do, sends their mind on overdrive where they feel extremely overwhelmed.

They may feel like it is not possible to complete a particular task.

One may even feel like they cannot organize their day well because it is just too much to handle.

3. Behavioral Disorders

behavioral disorders
It is not unusual for persons who have younger onset dementia to go through several behavioral changes.

It is where one can experience bouts of aggression and anger towards everyone and everything for no apparent reason. Most people may have negative reactions when someone asks them about their illness or general life questions.

Mood fluctuations are also common where a person may be extremely happy one second and the next tears cannot stop rolling from their eyes.

For a person who knows the affected person well, it may seem like they are a completely different person.

4. Neglecting Personal Care

neglecting personal care
Ignoring hygiene and personal care is another example of early onset dementia symptoms. A person may refuse to take a bath, change their clothes, or brush their teeth. Some do not do this deliberately.

Changes that happen in the brain may lead to confusion.

Perceptions may be affected and water in a bathtub may appear to be the scariest thing that a person has ever seen.

Looking at a mirror might also introduce a sense of strangers in the room. Grooming products in the bathroom may also devastate a PWD (Person with Dementia) reason they “choose” to stay unkempt.

5. Balance Problems

balance problems
Loss of balance can be another sign of younger onset dementia. Individuals with the illness are more likely to face muscle weakness that can affect how a person walks making them susceptible to falls all the time.

Other factors that can cause falls include fatigue, lack of exercise, poor judgment, and restlessness, etc.

This can be dangerous because one might fracture a bone or hip which might mean they have to go in for surgery.

In some cases, this can lead to immobility or it can be fatal.

It is, therefore, important to identify the reason why a person is at risk of falling and ensure you do everything in your power to keep them out of harm’s way. Also, it is advisable to make a dementia-friendly home.

6. Loss of Meaningful Speech

loss of meaningful speech
Problems with language and communication might be an indication that a younger person has dementia.

An outspoken person may all over a sudden come up with empty ideas or utter a few words that make no sense.

Individuals may also find themselves using jargon in a way that no one understands the message they are trying to pass across.

A person’s ability to read may also be affected where they have challenges with comprehension, especially with complex materials.

Writing can also be an uphill task where an individual with the illness cannot write proper sentences.

7. Eating Difficulties

eating difficulties
Eating and swallowing difficulties also count among early onset dementia symptoms. Sensory and motor difficulties often affect how a person eats.

An individual may have difficulties directing a spoon or glass to their mouth. Some people may get food to their mouths but they forget they need to chew it.

Others will lose the ability to tell whether food is hot or and may end up burning their mouths with hot foods; thus associate food with pain.

A percentage of PWD simply lose appetite where they have no mood for eating or drinking anything.

8. Sundowning

sundowning
There are instances where a person with younger onset dementia will behave out of character during early evenings or late afternoons.

Such people experience sundowning.

Many people during this time will become more confused, aggressive, or agitated. Many are convinced that they are in the wrong place and need to head home.

This usually comes about because of factors like too much or too little light, loss of routine, little sleep, when prescribed medication is wearing off, and lots of noise among many others.

9. Inability to Multitask

inability to multitask
As people age, multitasking becomes a challenge. This is even worse for people who have early onset dementia.

It is because they experience an impaired ability to get back to the original task after a task has been interrupted.

We can also explain this by memory loss where an individual forgets that they are supposed to be handling more than one task.

In line with this many people who get dementia when they are younger than 65 also have challenges completing complex tasks. As time goes by, even focusing on a single task at a time becomes a problem.

10. Difficulties Learning New Things

difficulties learning new things
For most people learning new stuff is an exciting venture. Younger onset dementia takes this away from a person. This is because people with illness often have a tough time processing new information and learning new things.

For instance, in an office setting, employees may have to learn how to use a new computer program or a process that makes work easier.

You will find that the young person with dementia struggles to grasp new concepts and may be among the last people to figure out how the new systems work.

11. Less Desire to Be Flexible

less desire to be flexible
The ability to be flexible decreases highly for a person with dementia. One may want to stick to a particular routine all week. If something happens to upset this routine, trouble sets in fast.

The affected individual may become upset throwing tantrums because things are not going as expected.

This is usually not a normal reaction reason it is important to seek medical advice as soon as you notice someone becomes too anxious or upset when they have to adjust their schedules even when it is only for a little while.

12. Reduced Efficiency

Early Onset Dementia Symptoms
Another sign to talk about when tackling early onset dementia symptoms is reduced efficiency.

The brain does not function normally which means that the affected individual will be slow to process things and they cannot be as productive as they were before.

At some point, someone may lose interest in the things they once cherished because they cannot enjoy the activities in the same way as in the past.

This is one of the things that can lead to social withdrawal because a person feels like they cannot live their lives the way they were used to.

13. Increased Reliance on Family and Friends

increased reliance on family and friends
People with early onset dementia may find that they are constantly relying on other people to help them out. This can happen to someone who was once independent and loved to get things done on their own.

Because of the changes happening to their bodies, they may find themselves in situations where they need help from others because they cannot do stuff on their own.

Caregivers and loved ones need to know how to handle this so that they do not make the PWD feel worthless and too reliant on them because this often leads one to depression.

14. Trying avoiding questions (and conversations)

trying avoiding questions and conversations
It is a pretty common practice if a person who is showing first signs of dementia, that they become exceptionally good at covering for themselves.

Meaning, when someone tries to ask them a question, either they pretend to be busy or flip things around, answering a question with a question.

If this grows to repeated practice, it becomes very evident that something is going on behind the curtains. At least for those who previously never acted like this.

If so, either you try to honestly talk to them or seek help from a professional. When it comes to dementia, the earlier the diagnosis and treatment, the better.

Final Remarks

When you notice that your loved one is showcasing any of the above early onset dementia symptoms, it is important to visit your doctor as soon as possible. Do not ignore them thinking that dementia only affects older people in retirement.

Getting a proper diagnosis early is important because your doctor will advise on how the person with younger onset dementia symptoms will live a full life.

This will help them to remain comfortable while maintaining independence for the longest possible time.

12 Frontotemporal Dementia Symptoms 2021

frontotemporal dementia symptoms

We will look at the most common frontotemporal dementia symptoms as they can vary quite a bit from person to person.

Some are pretty similar to other types of dementia, but the treatment can be different due to the disease affecting different areas of the brain.

But what exactly is frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and why it occurs?

First and foremost, frontotemporal dementia is an umbrella term for different conditions. We know three main types of FTD:

Moreover, FTD increases nerve loss in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. The former is the area behind your forehead and the latter the section behind the ears.

A person with FTD mainly shows signs that are related to behavior, personality and communication/language which worsen over time. In the later stages of frontotemporal dementia, a person needs 24-hour care.

Today, we will investigate different FTD symptoms that caregivers, friends and family members should be aware of.

Note that an individual can have a mixture of two or more symptoms which cause difficulty prescribing the right treatment.

At the time of writing this, FTD and any other type of dementia still have no cure. However, there are different behavioral and lifestyle changes that we can implement to reduce the risk of dementia.

10 Frontotemporal Dementia Symptoms and Signs

1. Apathy

apathy frontotemporal dementia symptoms
It is easy to notice this change in a person that was once an outgoing, active and friendly individual with a lot of friends and rich social life.

However, all of a sudden, they lose interest in other people, events and friends. A person with frontotemporal dementia, as well, starts to lose motivation for hobbies and other activities that he or she once loved.

When you ask this person why they do not do activities anymore he or she just doesn’t have the motivation to do anything anymore. Also, a person doesn’t have any bad feelings toward friends and society just doesn’t want to be connected with them anymore.

As a result, they like to spend time alone. An apathetic person has an absence of interest in social, spiritual, physical, emotional and family life.

2. Lack of sympathy and empathy

lack of sympathy and empathy
A person with frontotemporal dementia symptoms puts himself first. He or she has difficulties to see and understand the needs of other people (his caregivers, family members, friends).

They show less personal warmth and love even to his wife or her husband. Besides, a person can show no interest in their children or grandchildren.

Which can be difficult to understand and to accept for family members.

Moreover, a person can be less socially active or doesn’t show any interest in the social environment, events or celebrations.

This behavior can make the person appear harmful or selfish and has to be understood as illness and not as an unfriendly attitude or hostility.

3. Repetitive behavior

repetitive behaviors a symptom of frontotemporal dementia
A person can develop a behavior pattern or gestures that are repeated many times in a day. A person can also start hoarding stuff and doesn’t want to throw away their belongings.

Especially disturbing are used wipes, old food and empty food packing. Common frontotemporal dementia symptom is when a person repeats phrases and questions multiple times in just one hour.

Some behaviors can become almost ritualized and cannot be interrupted. If a caregiver doesn’t do something like the ritual a person with frontotemporal dementia developed, the person with the condition can get very angry and upset.

For example, if the food isn’t served like the person with frontotemporal dementia expects, he or she can become a nuisance.

4. Poor planning and trouble making decisions

poor planning and trouble making decision
Organizing and planning difficulties may be first noticed at work if a person is still employed. A retired person can show a lack of organizing and managing their finances.

As an example, house expenses and bills aren’t paid in time or the wrong amount is paid. A person can be confused with the understanding of the value of money and can waste it for unnecessary things.

Another common frontotemporal dementia symptom is the difficulty of making decisions. More importantly, the decision to actually executing an activity or task. On the other hand, they might have trouble considering what should be the best thing to do in a particular situation.

It is important for a person to have a caregiver, family member, friend, that helps him to understand the value of the decision and what should be the best for them to do.

5. Loss of communication

loss of communication
A person with frontotemporal dementia can experience loss of expression. Communication can be hard to understand with a lot of errors in grammar. A person can be really slow at speaking and experiences difficulties to find the right word and meaning of a sentence.

You can notice that an individual is leaving out small words in the sentence such as the, from, to, etc. It becomes challenging to understand what they try to say when the words are mispronounced or wrong.

You have to be attentive to understand a person with frontotemporal dementia who has symptoms of loss of communication.

Don’t argue with a person about errors in grammar and just listen attentively and connect the story in a whole tale with a sense of its potential.

After some time, it gets easier to understand the meaning even if the words are wrong and are missing.

6. Memory

memory
Common frontotemporal dementia symptom is connected with memory. One of the first signs is when a person’s vocabulary gets inadequate.

Additionally, a person can be confused about everyday objects and doesn’t recognize items that he/she uses, eats and see every day.

A person can be asking about the meaning of familiar words (what is “glass,” what is “an apple,” etc.). Similarly, a person doesn’t recognize familiar people, family and friends.

Loss of short-term memory can be noticed when a person doesn’t recollect what he ate one hour ago, if he already was in the shop that day or if he/she had any family visits in the morning.

7. Agitated behavior

agitated behavior
The more that the brain becomes damaged, the more agitated or aggressive a person can become. In this stage of frontotemporal dementia, a person can be hard to understand, has limited communication and poor focus.

He or she can become angry or aggressive by the smallest things that do not go according to their plan. This could be a simple misunderstanding in conversation.

Or if a family member thinks or wants to prove that the person with dementia is behaving weird or inappropriate.

Try to understand that the brain is damaged and that person can’t act and behave as he/she used to.

A person starts to do everyday things in a routine and gets upset if the routine is broken. In this stage, a person will likely need a full-time caregiver.

8. Poor personal hygiene

poor personal hygiene
A person can start to diminish personal hygiene, and doesn’t want to take regular showers, clean teeth and wash clothes.

Clothes seem to a person with frontotemporal dementia always clean and he/she does not want to change them even if they are full of stains.

Showers start to become unnecessary and complicated. Plus, the cleanliness of the bathroom and living space becomes poor and dirty.

It is necessary that family members check if the bathroom and kitchen are clean and safe to use if a person is living alone.

9. Movement problems

movement problems
Common symptoms of frontotemporal dementia are those that relate to the movement of a person. A person can develop tremors and can’t stop trembling, which leads to incapability to take care of his/her basic needs in everyday life tasks.

A problem can start with an eating disorder due to the difficulty of swallowing of food and liquids.

Not enough food can lower energy and consequently, lack of active movement.

With no activity, human muscles start to weaken which can lead to problems with balance. A person can easily fall and lose stability while standing.

Try to help a person with movement problems to stay active and walk at least ten minutes a day if possible so that some muscles will stay fresh and preserved.

10. Change of personality

change of personality
The characteristics and personality of a person with dementia can change with a damaged brain. Alterations can be so severe that the person that you once knew doesn’t exist anymore.

We simply have to accept a new personality that an individual has developed.

Remember that the changes, especially if they are negative, are due to the disease. A person with frontotemporal dementia is not trying to hurt you, or be negative and ungrateful.

Set reasonable expectations and don’t demand behavior that a person with frontotemporal dementia cannot provide.

If personality changes are so severe and sudden that you cannot cope with them, contact a physician for help.

11. Sudden speech problems

sudden speech problems
It is more likely that a person with FTD will have issues with speech compared to those with Alzheimer’s disease. This results in one of quite common frontotemporal dementia symptoms.

A person has trouble not just remembering names and words but making sense when they speak and understanding others. They even tend to use more general words when describing things, even people, like it, he, she, etc.

Moreover, difficulty also occurs when it comes to reading.

To sum up, when an older adult starts to have speech problems, you better take him or her to see the doctor as early as possible. In some instances, complete loss of speech may also become a thing.

12. Weird eating habits

weird eating habits
One widespread frontotemporal dementia symptom is the development of weird eating habits.

All of a sudden, they start to crave foods that they never before liked. Moreover, overeating is an almost popular act in people with frontotemporal dementia.

That’s not all. It is also quite natural that they begin to desire sweet foods, primarily carbohydrates.

Last but not least, one of the signs of their weird eating habits is the fact that they begin eating inedible, heck, contaminated objects. You, as a caregiver or loved one, should pay close attention to what the older adult is doing.

And if they need more attention during morning or later hours, that’s what you would want to try to take care of.

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