The Earliest Warning Sign of Dementia (Scary!)
The earlier you’re diagnosed with dementia, the better your outcome.
Early intervention is your best bet at slowing the progression of the disease, which could help extend the quality of your life.
Last week I told you about a newly discovered early warning sign of dementia (you can read about that here).
Today, I’m going to share another early warning sign to watch out for.
It turns out to be one of the most common symptoms of the disease—and one that’s associated with poorer outcomes—is also one of the earliest.
Here’s everything you need to know.
For this study, researchers were looking at a specific form of dementia called frontotemporal dementia. It is a rare form of dementia that tends to affect younger people (45-64 years old).
As the name suggests, frontotemporal dementia impacts your brain’s frontal lobe, which causes problems with behavior, personality, and language (as opposed to memory).
It also has a genetic component, with up to 30 percent of people who develop it having a family history of the disease.
(This is different from other more common forms of dementia, which tend to be lifestyle related.)
Symptoms of frontotemporal dementia include changes like loss of inhibitions, compulsive behaviors, decreased energy, and apathy.
The apathy component seems to hit people the hardest.
It’s linked to functional decline, loss of independence, and ultimately poorer survival.
And it turns out that apathy could also be one of the earliest warning signs of the disease.
Most people deal with it years before they receive an official diagnosis.
The study included 600 healthy people, half of whom had a genetic variant that increased their risk of the disease.
The people with risk genes for dementia experienced an increase in apathy over the two years of the study.
The degree of apathy from the start of the study predicted cognitive decline over the next two years.
Also, an increase in apathy was connected to lower volume in two parts of the brain: the frontal lobe and cingulate, according to MRI scans.
What all of this means is that over time, subtle changes in apathy can predict a change in cognition, which means it can be a very early warning sign of dementia.
Of course, there can be other underlying causes of apathy that have nothing to do with dementia, like low thyroid hormone levels or depression.
But doctors need to be careful to rule out all underlying possibilities in patients experiencing an increase in apathy.
Getting the proper tests and a proper diagnosis is always the first step in ensuring the best possible outcome.
Written By Dr. Richard Gerhauser, M.D.
For years he’s been the trusted doctor for celebrities, world-class athletes, and countless seniors looking to reclaim their health.
And now…for the first time ever… he’s making his medical breakthroughs available to readers all across America.
Dr. Richard Gerhauser, M.D. is one of the most pioneering and innovative minds in medicine today – and he delivers cutting-edge cures each month through his Natural Health Response newsletter.
Natural Health Response readers get full access to Dr. Gerhauser’s protocols for chronic pain… heart disease… diabetes… Alzheimer’s… and even cancer. These are the very same treatments Dr. Gerhauser recommends to his own patients at his practice in Tucson, Arizona.
In addition to being a board-certified medical doctor, Dr. Gerhauser has earned two master’s degrees and has served as a clinical professor at the University of Arizona.
And as a physician at the world-famous Canyon Ranch, Dr. Gerhauser treated celebrities from around the world who paid dearly for the type of next-generation health information he provides Natural Health Response readers each month.
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