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The commonest symptom reported by people with early dementia is 'short term' memory problems. However as the presenting symptoms vary depending on areas of the brain affected and the individual's ability to compensate, there could be an unlimited combination of symptoms that emerge. A specialist will establish relevant symptoms and evaluate its progress and severity over preceding months or years taking into account the individual's previous intellectual functioning and personality. Treatable mental health conditions like depression, which also affects attention and memory, will be identified and treated appropriately. Information provided by someone who knows the individual well will help us verify and elaborate on symptoms as the person may not remember the quality of their symptoms due to their memory impairment.

Some of the common reported symptoms are listed below. These symptoms become relevant if they occur more frequently, appear in specific clusters or become more prominent over time.

  • Forgetting
  • Repeating the same questions
  • Repeating the same stories
  • Keep losing wallet or keys
  • Misplacing things at home
  • Suspicious that people are stealing
  • Short term memory worse than long term memory
  • Increasing disagreements with your spouse
  • Struggling to learn new skills
  • Easily distracted
  • Leaving food to burn when cooking
  • Problems finding the right words when speaking
  • Difficulties following conversations
  • Losing your train of thought
  • Losing the sense of direction
  • Forgetting names
  • Change in behaviour
  • Change in personality
  • Short temperedness
  • Unable to concentrate
  • Apathy
  • Depression
  • Obsessiveness
  • Difficulties managing finances
  • Hallucinations
  • Talking to oneself
  • Loss of social etiquette
  • Confused about where you live
  • Asking to go home despite being at home
  • Putting things back in strange places
  • Neglecting personal care