Dementia: The warning signs of cognitive decline in women

Dementia: The warning signs of cognitive decline in women

Dr Hilary warns about missed dementia diagnoses in July

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There are many different types of dementia, with the prevalent being Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. The syndrome can be diagnosed as early as the age of 45. Even though there’s no cure for this condition, a prompt diagnosis could help slow down the progress or keep up a person’s mental function for longer.

In general, more women are affected by dementia compared to men, according to Alzheimer’s Society.

In fact, women tend to outnumber men two to one with this condition worldwide.

According to brain scans, research suggests that the rate at which brain cells are dying appears to be faster for women.

Another factor behind this statistic could also be that women tend to live longer, however, dementia is not only caused by age but also brain diseases.

According to EatThisNotThat, the dementia symptoms ignored by women are:

  • Over purchasing
  • Social withdrawal
  • Differences in mood
  • Difficulty with language.

Over purchasing can present as a routine stocking up on various items including toiletries or makeup, a family psychiatrist Jared Heathman told the health site.

“When out shopping, recent purchases of frequently used items are often forgotten. This can lead to purchasing items due to the belief that they are running low,” he added.

Social withdrawal is a common sign of cognitive decline that can be spotted across the genders, according to the NHS.

People with an ongoing cognitive decline can also lack social awareness, which can result in making inappropriate jokes for instance.

Another sign that can be spotted during social interactions, which overlaps with language, is the difficulty to follow the conversation or finding the right word.

A person with dementia may begin to have trouble expressing themselves verbally.

EatThisNotThat adds that this symptom may be subtle and hard to notice by the person affected or even those around them.

“Changes in mood are also a feature of early dementia that are commonly missed,” said Mr Hammond.

Patients with dementia might start losing interest in things they had enjoyed before.

They can also become more emotional and even depressed.

The difference between men and women linked to cognitive decline might not only be apparent in the symptoms.

Jacqueline Mitchell, an Alzheimer’s Society funded researcher at King’s College London, explained: “We are very aware of sex-based differences.

“We always make sure to use a balance of male and female so that we can statistically compare any differences that arise in response to drug treatments.”

There’s more research needed into dementia treatments that focuses mainly on women as they make up 65 percent of all people affected, the Alzheimer’s charity adds.

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