Understand & Recognize Dementia Symptoms in Arizona
Dementia is caused by several neurological conditions that affect brain function, including Lewy body dementia (also called Parkinson’s disease dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies), vascular dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
At Dignity Health, we bring together a team of experts to deliver personalized, compassionate care for dementia symptoms in Arizona. You or your loved one’s care team includes neurologists, geriatricians, social workers, nurse practitioners, and licensed practical nurses. Call (855) 231-6180 or Find a Doctor online to learn more about dementia treatment at Dignity Health.
We provide neurological care at several Arizona locations:
- Mercy Gilbert Medical Center
- Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s
- Chandler Regional Medical Center
Signs & Symptoms of Dementia
Dementia symptoms vary depending on the type of dementia. However, all types of dementia involve symptoms of reduced cognitive function and memory loss. Dementia can develop slowly or start suddenly. Symptoms tend to get worse as the disease progresses.
Signs and symptoms of dementia include:
- Progressive memory loss
- Loss of ability to solve simple problems, such as how to do a word-find puzzle or stop rain from coming into the house by closing a window
- Inability to concentrate or focus, even for short periods of time
- Repeating a behavior or single word over and over
- Inability to complete tasks requiring multiple steps, such as paying bills or cooking
- Loss of impulse control, especially in public
- Personality changes, including frequent episodes of crying or angry outbursts
- Loss of ability to perform activities of daily living, such as dressing and bathing
- Inability to use words correctly when speaking or find the right word in writing or speech
- Sleep disturbances
The symptoms — and their severity — vary widely among people with a given type of dementia.
Dementia Diagnosis at Dignity Health
Doctors diagnose dementia by performing specialized neurological exams and obtaining a thorough family medical history. Your doctor will assess your attention span, memory, ability to solve simple problems, and performance on similar tasks. A comprehensive neuropsychology exam is usually part of diagnosing dementia.
Certain imaging and lab tests can be helpful when diagnosing dementia. They improve the likelihood of pinpointing the type of dementia and can rule out other causes of dementia-like symptoms. Tests may include:
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
- Blood tests
A dementia diagnosis relies on identifying loss of brain function, so it can take time as doctors wait for the disease to progress.
Dignity Health provides compassionate care and support for dementia symptoms in Arizona.