Dementia refers to a group of disorders that affect how the brain functions. The signs and symptoms of dementia may be mild in the early stages and progressively become worse over time.
Dignity Health Southern California doctors are experts at assessing the signs of dementia. For more information about dementia symptoms in Southern California, visit one of our locations:
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Signs of Dementia
Signs and symptoms of dementia vary and depend on the type and stage of the disease. The most notable signs are memory loss and a reduced level of cognitive function.
Dementia signs include:
- Inability to find the right word in speech or writing
- Difficulty using words correctly when speaking
- Loss of ability to solve simple problems such as how to stop the rain from coming in the house by closing a window or how to do a word-find puzzle
- Inability to focus or concentrate, even for short periods of time
- Progressive memory loss
- Inability to complete tasks that require multiple steps, such as cooking or paying bills
- Repeating a single word or behavior over and over
- Loss of impulse control, especially in public
- Personality changes, including angry outbursts or frequent episodes of crying
- Loss of ability to perform activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing
- Sleep disturbances
These symptoms tend to get worse as time goes on. Talk with a skilled neurologist for an accurate diagnosis.
Dementia Diagnosis at Dignity Health Southern California
Typically, our doctors diagnose dementia by obtaining a thorough family medical history and performing specialized neurological exams. During these tests, your doctor evaluates your attention span, memory, and ability to do simple problem solving. Often, a complete neuropsychology exam can help your doctor reach a diagnose.
Certain lab and imaging tests can help your neurologist rule out other causes of dementia and symptoms, and in some cases, determine the type of dementia. These may include:
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the head
- Blood tests
Diagnosis may take some time, as doctors wait for the disease to progress. Research on dementia continues to make the process more efficient, allowing doctors to provide results quicker and begin treatment sooner. Dignity Health doctors provide reliable assessment of dementia symptoms in Southern California.