Alzheimer’s Awareness Month: local doctor weighs in on warning signs

KNWA & FOX24 - Northwest Arkansas & River Valley News
KNWA & FOX24 - Northwest Arkansas & River Valley News

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – It is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and a local doctor who says this is the most common form of dementia is speaking up on the warning signs.

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Dr. Maria Judit with Northwest Medical says the warning signs are subtle in the early stages any form of dementia. Initially, people who develop this have difficulty remembering recent events or information… but over time, that progresses.

“This is a really hard disease to deal with and it involves not just patients, but everybody that’s around them-their families and their caregivers,” she said.

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America listed these common warning signs of dementia:

• Recent memory loss that is frequent and impacts daily life

• Confusion of time and place, disorientation

• Difficulty performing familiar tasks

• Problems with language such as finding the right words or following/initiating a conversation

• Decreased or poor judgment

• Problems with abstract thinking like forgetting how to add or subtract

• Forgetting where they put things such as putting items in places they do not belong

• Changes in mood and personality

• Loss of initiative

Dr. Judit said the pandemic has also played a role in many people’s struggle with dementia.

“The older adults who suffer from dementia rely on social interactions for physical contact and mental stimulation in their every day activities,” Dr. Judit said. “With the social isolation caused by the pandemic, it’s been especially hard on them and their caregivers.”

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Dr. Judit said if you have a loved one who you think may suffer from dementia, especially early on in the disease, it is a good idea to talk to their doctor about their symptoms and get diagnosed as early as possible.

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