Dr Hilary lists the early symptoms of dementia
A survey, conducted by Opinium, found that 34 percent of respondents do not know the symptoms of dementia.
Another 16 percent of participants incorrectly thought dementia is a normal part of ageing, when it is not.
Moreover, over 77 percent of respondents are not aware of key risk factors for developing the illness.
According to the data, the top 10 least known symptoms of dementia are:
- Preference for sweet food (79 percent)
- Loss of smell (76 percent)
- Seizures (73 percent)
- Bladder incontinence (63 percent)
- Becoming obsessive (60 percent)
- Repeated falls and fainting (59 percent)
- Visual hallucinations (56 percent)
- Appetite and weight loss (55 percent)
- Sleep disturbances (49 percent)
- Movement problems (41 percent).
Almost nine in 10 can identify memory loss (88 percent) as a symptom of dementia.
READ MORE… Seven key signs of dementia you need to know – can appear suddenly
Key risk factors for dementia
Over three-quarters of the survey’s 2,000 respondents were unaware that hearing loss can be a risk factor for developing dementia in later life.
Justin Taurog, the Managing Director of Vitality Life who commissioned the study, said: “Our research shows that there is a gap in people’s understanding about dementia.
“Dementia can affect anyone, and it’s vital that everyone is aware of the symptoms to look out for and what the risk factors are.”
Risk factors for dementia
The Mayo Clinic pointed out modifiable risk factors, such as alcohol consumption.
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“Drinking large amounts of alcohol has long been known to cause brain changes,” the Mayo Clinic says.
“Several large studies and reviews found that alcohol use disorders were linked to an increased risk of dementia, particularly early-onset dementia.”
Other modifiable risk factors for dementia are obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Leading an unhealthy life, which involves drinking too much alcohol and not exercising frequently, increases risk of disease.
Thus, one of the best measures against dementia is to lower alcohol consumption and to exercise often.
The NHS recommends everybody should exercise for at least 150 minutes each week.
If you suspect you could be suffering from dementia, your first port of call is the doctor’s office.
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