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- A new person is diagnosed with dementia every 3 seconds.
- 50 million people with dementia worldwide in 2017.
- Will almost double every 20 years, 131 million in 2050.
- The fastest growth in the elderly population is taking place in China and India. Even in the “developed” world only 20-50% of dementia cases are recognized and managed.
Our parents and their parents are often sidelined at a very important time. Subtle clues that point to disastrous outcomes are often missed or ignored. Some forms of dementia can be completely reversed if diagnosed early and some forms managed far more effectively if caught in the initial stages.
Dementia is more common in people over the age of 65, but it can affect younger people too . Post the age of 65 the risk of developing dementia (Alzheimer’s or vascular) doubles every five years. It is extremely important to identify dementia early.
Identify the risk factors in dementia.
Not all of us have the same “risk” to develop dementia. Identifying and modifying risk factors can delay the onset of dementia. If you know a loved one who ticks multiple items in the following list, it is high time to start working on reducing their risk.
1 ) Increasing age.
2)Low educational achievement, poor social and occupational functioning.
3)Family history of dementia.
4) APOE4 . ( A protein involved in the metabolism of fats in the body. )
4)High blood pressure, High blood sugar and high cholesterol levels.
Age, genetics and family history cannot be modified, the rest of the risks on the list can be worked on. This is an important first step in preventing / delaying dementia.
Here are 7 things you should keep an eye on to identify dementia early.
- Forgetfulness that seems odd, and that affects day to day functioning.
- Inability to perform familiar tasks and learnt abilities.
- Forgetting the date and time and place.
- A reversal of his or her sleep schedule.
- Difficulty finding words, forgetting names of objects.
- A loss of initiative and interest.
- Changes in personality and/or behavior.
Being diagnosed with something like this absolutely devastates you, but for me diagnosis – and this is going to sound really strange – was probably the best news I had at the time. Because… I thought I was losing my mind. I thought there was a conspiracy against me. I was right and everybody else was wrong.
An early diagnosis of dementia is so, so important. Once diagnosed, I knew what I was up against. As they say: know your enemy. If I hadn’t been diagnosed early and I hadn’t been seen by consultants on a regular basis, I wouldn’t be as well as I am today. I don’t know what my future holds, but at least I’m prepared for it
Early identification can slow down the progress of disease and improve quality of living.
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