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My question was, and still is, what are the very early signs of dementia besides forgetfulness? Is being moody a part of it. A change in personality from a very warm, easygoing person to one who is angry or somewhat critical?
Thank you.
gka98765

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Could be. But any marked change in personality warrants careful medical investigation anyway, because something is causing it. Don't ignore this one, hope you find that whatever's going on is treatable/manageable. Good luck x
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My father knew my mother was becoming forgetful before any of us did and there were 3 daughters around. I personally thought Mom was so concerned about Dad and his failing health that she was becoming a bit forgetful due to stress and worry.

He would ask her if she remembered this person or that one and she kept saying "No I don't remember them." Since she did not grow up in the same town, I thought these were strictly memories of my Dad's and he had forgotten she did not live there her entire life as he had. I guess that was not the case however as after Dad died, Mom just gradually became worse and worse.

They may seem a bit moody but they in the beginning do realize they are losing their memory and abilities and desires to do many things they have done in the past. Mom locked herself away and refused to go anywhere or do anything outside the home. No church, no organizations, no friends, no family outings, nothing. I really thought she was mourning but it was more than that. A doctor told us that she had kinda caused her own dementia by locking herself away but her brain was shrinking too so it was the illness setting in.

My ex husband takes medication that has been linked to Alzheimer's and I have noticed a change in his mental attitude towards me and our child. Yes we were divorced but he thought the sun rose and set in our child and now he barely comes around. There is no talking or reasoning with him, after caring for Mom I really think this is what is happening to him but I cannot get him to have his doctor change the medication, the doctor says it is all baloney the medication is fine, but my ex is a very different man now.

In the very early stages you may not be able to tell what is really going on, it has to become more pronounced before you see what you are dealing with. Everyone is different as well and their symptoms may all be varied so we cannot give you an absolute list and say this comes first and this comes second. For a while they are able to fool you and the doctors into believing they are fine, my Mom has and yet by the time we get home from the doctor, she does not remember ever going in the first place! It can drive you crazy. Just watch anything abnormal or out of the ordinary.

I hope you are not worried about yourself, we go through so much stress caring for others that we begin to fear that what we are experiencing is the beginning of these diseases in ourselves. Don't do this to yourself.

God Bless You!
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The Captain always has useful specific advice.
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man that reminds me of an army posting on the bulletin board in 1979. it was depicting someone who might be huffing an inhaled chemical. it was a cartoon sketch of two soldiers talking. the stoned one, with quite a solemn look on his face was saying " ukto - bobo - jeepy - tu - tu - la gooey poo" ..
so if an elder says something like that theyre either huffing boot dye or demented.. get the boot dye and PAM cooking spray out of the house and see if they get better.
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My thoughts are a bit different than many, probably because of my personal experience. I knew my mother had dementia years before she was diagnosed. The way I knew is that she did things that just didn't fit. Her reasoning ability was the first thing that was noticeably affected. I was the one who was around her the most, so I noticed her behavior was "off." Even if someone had told me that she didn't have dementia, I wouldn't have believed them. It was something I recognized very quickly when I moved here.
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My mother was diagnosed with FTD. This disease has a couple of different formats, but the 2 major ones either affect speech (ultimately the affected person cannot talk) or behavior. My mother has the latter. Her behavior and mood swings have been so weird for so long that I didn't realize that it had anything to do with dementia or ALZ. It's not really ALZ, but it ends the same why ALZ does. The memory problems start and that is where she is at now. Frankly we have never really been sure whether it is FTD or ALZ, but her executive reasoning is definitely weird/bad now. Apparently there a ton of brain disorders and each can manifest themselves differently. However, mom first had the strange behaviors (blamed other people for accidents, let cats play with razors, positive she was going to die of cancer every time something hurt), huge mood swings (nice one minute mean the next), her executive functioning was affected (had trouble balancing her check book, couldn't find things where she left them, but when I looked for them they were right where she said they were) and then memory problems. AND she still thinks she is just fine. We can't tell her she forgot something, she gets very defensive. She is supposedly still in the early stages and still able to live in independent living.
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Oh ... and hallucinations were a very early sign that my husband had Lewy Body Dementia. But hallucinations don't typically occur early in Alzheimer's. Hallucinations can.also occur for other reasons, such as a reaction to a drug, or a UTI. (Darn those UTIs!)

This is just to point out again that there are few universal signals that always mean dementia.
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GKA, I can tell from your posts that you really, really want to know the signs of early dementia. And I think I can speak for most of us in saying we'd really, really like to help you.

The fact is, dementia comes on in its own way. And it also depends on the person's baseline.

I assume by now you have read the general articles about early signs of dementia. Unfortunately those early signs could also be caused by other things.

Forgetfulness is, of course, one of the first signs. Forgetting where you put your keys is not a sign of dementia. Forgetting what a key is for may be. Forgetting to pay a bill once in while, especially if you have a history of that kind of behavior, may not be a sign of dementia. Not knowing what a bill is all about and hiding mail all over the house can be a sign of dementia.

My husband drank tea all the years I've known him. The first time he ordered it in a restaurant and then had no idea what to do with the little pot of hot water and a tea bag I knew we were in trouble.

So it is not just being forgetful ... it matters what kinds of things are being forgotten.

Hiding things (such as the mail) can be an early sign of dementia.

Being moody and/or more critical could be a sign of many different things. A UTI comes to mind. Depression sometimes displays as anger. Being in pain may have that effect. I was pretty moody when I first had diabetes, before it was diagnosed. Paranoia was an early sign of dementia for my husband. So maybe a change in personality could be a sign of dementia ... but it could be lots of other things, too.

I suggest that you keep a journal of your observations. Note any unusual (for her) behavior, when it happened, how long it lasted, etc. Maybe you will see a pattern. And your observations will be helpful when you do see a doctor with your mother, over your concerns.

Since a change in personality can be a sign of several different medical conditions, I would think a general checkup with these symptoms in mind would be a good idea.
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Gka were you talking to my son ?
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That's a hard question. Because everyone's path is different, similar in ways as StandingAlone wrote. I would speak with a doctor. There is a "short/simple" dementia test the doctor can give to determine if you need further testing for dementia. But the are also many other things that can cause a personality change - depression, stress, even UTI's in some cases. I would definitely speak with a doctor. We made a family consult appointment with my MIL's doctor to discuss all our concerns. He then did a full physical, blood work up, along with the "short" dementia test and a depression test. After those results were back, (he was concerned she had dementia) he sent us for further testing. We got sent to a neurologist. At this time my MIL was in her early 60's and still "ok" most of the time. But the dementia caused many things/issues for us. Such as: depression (she knew something was wrong) and other physical problems - hygiene, forgetting bills, misusing her medication and random extreme attitude/personality changes - overly frugal today, over spending later; rude comments to particular grandkids. I learned early to question everything! And I keep asking until I understand. I now have her husband, my FIL, tested at every physical.
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Gka, yeah, what you're describing is all a part of dementia. The person's entire personality can change, sometimes changes from day to day. It can be like walking through a mine field dealing with the patient. You never know when they're going to blow up. If you google the early signs of dementia, or just keep reading here, you'll find a lot of helpful information, and you'll know what you can expect down the road. There are all sorts of issues with alz and dementia patients, and everyone's experience with these patients have similarities, but at the same time are all different. In the beginning, when the patient starts to get really forgetful, but is still well enough to KNOW they're declining, that can bring on fears, anger, depression, you name it. Please keep us updated and keep posting...God knows we all get it...
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