Identifying the early signs of dementia can be quite difficult. Dr Warner explains that “actual changes in the brain begin 20 years or so, before the individual becomes symptomatic.'' When conducting his diagnosis, and attempting to track back and identify what the symptoms were, he believes “it is difficult because they are very subtle.”
Dr Warner suggests that the early signs people should look out for should be “increasing memory lapses”, and checking whether the individual is “repeating questions”. Specifically with Alzheimer’s, he recommends keeping an eye out for “subtle, mild memory loss” and seeing whether the individual is experiencing difficulty in “abstract thinking and weighing things in the balance.”
From a psychological perspective, it’s important to be aware if the individual has other problems, such as “depression or psychosis”. These could also be early signs of dementia, says Dr Warner.