Dementia is characterized by significant memory impairment along with one or several of the following impairments: impaired cognitive function, decreased attention and focus, impaired problem solving and planning, decreased spatial skills and decreased organization. Many signs and symptoms of dementia are overlooked in the early stages and appear benign. However, as the condition progresses, the symptoms become more noticeable, especially by coworkers, friends, and family.
Early symptoms start with inefficiency in work and noticeable shortness of patience with daily challenges. Simple tasks – such as remembering appointments, place of car keys, and bills to pay- become a problematic issue, and as the condition progresses, family and coworkers cannot trust the individual with simple memory-based tasks. These symptoms may be dismissed as “normal aging.”
However, that is an incorrect assumption, and as the condition progresses, the brain will atrophy. It is critical for healthcare professionals to recognize the early signs of dementia, know the causative mechanisms, and help develop brain-health strategies in the early stages of the condition.
Dr. Bagnell will assess during the examination the level of decline through oculomotor tests, posture, stability, and memory tasks. Therapy is designed to improve neuroplastic responses in several lay regions of the brain and metabolic/nutritional recommendations to support healthy brain function. This condition is progressive so ongoing home care is a highly recommended aspect following the initial phase of care.
Some forms of dementia may be secondary to hypertensive microvascular disease, B12 deficiency, or other modifiable causes. Other types of dementia (such as AD) are incurable but diet, lifestyle, and nutrition may help support the brain and neurons to function more efficiently, optimizing the quality of life.
1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life
2. Challenges in planning or solving problems
3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, work, and at leisure
4. Confusion with time or place
5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
6. New problem with words in speaking or writing
7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
8. Decreased poor judgment, decreased sense of smell, chronic constipation, and/or shoulder stiffness
9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
10. Changes in mood and personality