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An Early Warning Sign of Dementia May Be Making You Appear Cold, Says British Neuropsychologist

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It’s widely recognized that cognitive impairments such as memory deterioration and disorientation are indicators of dementia.

However, researchers are unearthing less obvious, and potentially unexpected, indications that could signal the advent of this condition.

The subtler indicators often manifest in our everyday activities, and are fairly straightforward to recognize, if we know the signals to monitor.

Experts in neuroscience are shifting their attention towards innovative methods that can identify initial indications of Alzheimer’s disease. Such signs could potentially appear many years prior to the development of pronounced symptoms.

Dr. Henk Swanepoel, Lead Neuropsychologist at Cygnet Health Care, suggested that early symptoms of frontotemporal dementia could lead to alterations in one’s personality.

This could “manifest in ‘cold’ and insensitive statements”, Dr Swanepoel elaborated.

Dr. Swanepoel further explained this could manifest in ‘cold’ and insensitive statements”.

In another scenario, an individual suffering from this form of dementia may level accusations of similar behavior – such as exhibiting “coldness” or a lack of sensitivity – against others.

Dr. Swanepoel elucidated, This conduct stems from dementia’s effect on the patient’s social perception and consciousness.

“Often a dementia patient might make inappropriate jokes and/or have lack of tact, but patients can also be withdrawn, which can be out of character for them.”

Progressive Neurocognitive Disorder: Understanding Frontal and Temporal Lobe Dementia

The type of dementia that impacts the frontal and lateral regions of the brain is known as frontotemporal dementia. Unlike other forms, its onset typically occurs earlier, with the majority of diagnoses made between the ages of 45 and 65.

A spectrum of symptoms is associated with frontotemporal dementia, which may encompass:

  • Alterations in personality and behavior
  • Difficulty with language usage and comprehension
  • Impairment of cognitive skills
  • Challenges in retaining and recalling information

The individual may also experience physical challenges, characterized by slow or rigid motions.

No specific test exists to confirm this condition, however, if you have any concerns, reaching out to your healthcare professional is the initial step.

For those who have a loved one diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, Dr. Swanepoel offers valuable guidance.

“For example, anger can be a message of confusion, fear or pain. Try to identify triggers as soon as possible.”

“A break in a person’s routine might cause upset for instance.

“Distraction can be effective by focusing on what the person enjoys such as going for a walk.

“A daily routine can also be very effective which creates structure and predictability.

“Psychoeducation for loved ones can assist in supporting the patient which can foster an attitude of acceptance.”

Image Credit: Getty

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