Middle-aged dementia sufferers are being wrongly told by GPs that they are going through marriage problems, the menopause or a mid-life crisis, when in fact they are showing signs of dementia.
Dr. Jonathan Rohrer, a specialist in frontotemporal dementia at University College London, claimed that doctors were ‘stuck on the idea’ that memory loss is the main symptom of dementia, and were missing other warning signs.
Frontotemporal dementia, a form of dementia most prevalent among middle-aged people, affects the parts of the brain responsible for language and the ability to plan, and occurs in up to 16,000 Britons.
Patients reporting personality changes in themselves or their partners can wait up to 5 years for a diagnosis, more than two years for other forms of dementia.
Memory is not always affected by the onset of dementia. Here are some of the other surprising symptoms to watch out for:
- Losing inhibitions
- Inappropriate or impulsive behaviour
- Making tactless comments
- Developing a sweet tooth
- Slow speech or stuttering
- Repetitive or compulsive behaviour
- Less concern for personal hygiene
If you or a loved one are displaying any of the above symptoms, it’s best to speak to your doctor and express your concerns.