In the early stages of dementia, patients have a flat mood and a loss of social skills. Memory problems occur during this stage, such as patients have problems remembering names for familiar objects. Dementia patients also have difficulty with activities like balancing a checkbook. As the dementia progresses, the memory problems become worse, in which patients have difficulty forming new memories and recalling stored memories. Patients withdrawal from social contact and have mood changes. Difficulty with language occur in the moderate stage of dementia. In the advanced stage of dementia, patients forget their family members and are not able to care for themselves.
Certain risk factors exist for dementia. The MayoClinic.com noted that age and family history of dementia are risk factors for dementia that a person cannot change. But people can make certain lifestyle changes to avoid other risk factors for dementia. For example, smoking and alcohol use are both risk factors for dementia. Depression is also a risk factor for dementia. Other risk factors include too high or too low blood pressure, atherosclerosis, high homocysteine blood levels, high estrogen levels, high LDL cholesterol and diabetes.
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