Dementia Guide: Types & Symptoms

Dementia Guide: Types & Symptoms

3 min read

You can get dementia in your 40s. Did I just say that ha?

Eh, I ask you ah. Have you ever experienced this: you just shut the door and leave the house. But, you completely forgot whether you turned off the stove. You are talking to friends. But they are irritated because you keep repeating yourself. Are you like that hah?

If you say “yes”, hmmm jialat. You may have a problem called Alzheimer’s Dementia.

In 2018 hor, dementia affected 50 million people worldwide, and this number is expected to rise to 82 million by 2030 and 152 million by 2050*. In Singapore, according to the Well-being of the Singapore Elderly (WiSE) study led by the Institute of Mental Health in 2015, one in 10 people aged 60 and above may have dementia. This translates to almost 82,000 people in 2018 and the number is expected to exceed 100,000 in a few years’ time.

Yes, generally, dementia is an “old age” problem. But there are cases of people in their 40s and even 30s who are getting it. Shocked or not? It’s true. But they are the minority lah.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is an umbrella term (not raining what) for a condition that causes progressive intellectual decline leading to memory loss and increasing difficulty in coping with everyday activities. Eh, it is NOT part of normal ageing hor.

Types of Dementia

Did you know there are many types of dementia? I also didn’t know. So complicated. I shall talk about the two most common types we see in Singapore. Alzheimer’s Disease, the onset of symptoms and the progression of the disease is gradual. Scientists and doctors also don’t know what is the cause! But research says there is a familial tendency and certain chemicals in the brain are lacking. Vascular dementia leh, is the result of a series of strokes in the brain and it is also known as post-stroke dementia.

Image source: Giphy

How to tell you got Dementia?

Got three stages that mark the beginning and progression of the disease. Whether it’s old age dementia or young onset dementia, the symptoms are generally the same. Quick read these symptoms:

  1. Your short-term memory gets more and more jialat (worse and worse)
  2. Problems with visual perception
  3. Repetitive behaviour
  4. Mood changes, behaviour and personality also change
  5. No more interest in socialising, hobbies and activities
  6. Confusion with places and time (like me sometimes)
  7. Misplacing things (I also kena this)
  8. Difficulties in planning and thinking
  9. Difficulties in communication
  10. Difficulties in completing familiar tasks
  11. Poor judgement and impaired social behaviour (Luckily I Grab driver, judgement still “swee”)

Some health conditions also got similar symptoms to dementia. Like vitamin and hormone deficiencies, depression, medication, infections and brain tumours.  So, don’t scared.

Even though there’s no cure for dementia, we can minimise its impact. If you suspect that your old father or mother have young onset dementia, because they display many of the above symptoms, best to bring them see doctor. Early discovery and diagnosis dam important as doctors can assess and plan a course of action which may include support and prescribe medication.

If you have forgotten completely what you have just read, we suggest you visit the Alzheimer’s Disease Association to learn more about dementia. Remember or not?

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