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Watch out these Dementia symptoms, early signs to lower your risk!

The number of persons with dementia is expected to exceed two million by 2051; however, what are the earliest symptoms of the disease?

According to a recent study, dementia symptoms could be recognized up to nine years before a diagnosis.

The results, which were published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, suggest that future at-risk individuals may be screened to help identify those who may benefit from early therapies to lower their chance of contracting disorders connected to dementia.

Dementia Symptoms

Additionally, they might aid in the selection of individuals for clinical trials of novel medicines.

“When we looked back at patients’ histories, it became clear that they were showing some cognitive impairment several years before their symptoms became obvious enough to prompt a diagnosis,” Nol Swaddiwudhipong, a junior doctor at the University of Cambridge and the study’s author said.

“The impairments were often subtle, but across a number of aspects of cognition. This is a step towards us being able to screen people who are at greatest risk – for example, people over 50 or those who have high blood pressure or do not do enough exercise – and intervene at an earlier stage to help them reduce their risk.”

As part of the study, researchers examined data from the UK Biobank database and identified two early indicators of dementia in patients: difficulty with problem-solving and difficulty remembering numbers.

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Are There Available Treatments?

According to a recent study, dementia symptoms could be recognized up to nine years before a diagnosis.

Dr. Tim Rittman, a senior scholar, and researcher at the University of Cambridge stated: “People should not be unduly worried if, for example, they are not good at recalling numbers.

“Even some healthy individuals will naturally score better or worse than their peers. But we would encourage anyone who has any concerns or notices that their memory or recall is getting worse to speak to their GP.”

The study found that when it came to problem-solving tasks, response times, recalling lists of numbers, prospective memory, and pair matching, participants from the UK Biobank data who went on to develop Alzheimer’s performed worse than healthy people.

The researchers found that this was also true for those who experienced frontotemporal dementia, a less common form of dementia.

Head of policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, David Thomas, said, “It is increasingly clear that the best chance to affect the course of the diseases which cause dementia lies in intervening at their earliest stages.” 

“Health services don’t routinely offer the tests needed to detect changes in brain function that happen before symptoms are noticeable, like those alluded to in this study,” he added. 

There aren’t many viable dementia treatments available right now. Experts suspect that this is partially due to the fact that the ailment is sometimes only detected once symptoms arise, even though the underlying problems may have started years before. This may also be due to the fact that it has not yet been determined if it is possible to identify alterations in brain function prior to the start of symptoms.

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