Early Signs (well before symptoms)?

Anon33

Registered User
Jul 28, 2019
23
With my dad I definitely have noticed his ocd getting worse. This was quite an early sign. He also started collecting things. He would go to boot fairs and he bought pottery made by the same manufacturer. He was convinced they would be worth a great deal of money in the future although most items would cost him little more than a pound. Hoarding. Tidying up. All part off the ocd I think.
Definitely anger. He has always been quite an argumentative type but his anger is significant. Then there was a softness with others. So perhaps more extremes than in his younger days.
 

Anon33

Registered User
Jul 28, 2019
23
With my dad I definitely have noticed his ocd getting worse. This was quite an early sign. He also started collecting things. He would go to boot fairs and he bought pottery made by the same manufacturer. He was convinced they would be worth a great deal of money in the future although most items would cost him little more than a pound. Hoarding. Tidying up. All part off the ocd I think.
Definitely anger. He has always been quite an argumentative type but his anger is significant. Then there was a softness with others. So perhaps more extremes than in his younger days.
He has always been a very practical person with diy but he started losing the ability to carry out small repairs quite early too.
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
831
I noticed my mother had difficulty following a conversation during family get togethers, long before anything else. She tended to want to be the person leading the conversation, and sort of drifted off if it moved on to someone else's news. Other early symptoms were finding plots of films more difficult to follow. Her version of The Talented Mr Ripley is based on how much she fancied Jude Law for instance, rather than the actual plot. She was always an assertive woman, who had had a job which involved hiring and firing people. She'd never been afraid of making tough decisions, but had always done things with charm. The charm started to disappear and she just became extremely angry if she didn't get her own way. This was all very gradual and she was fine managing day to day things, paying bills, cleaning, shopping, remembering appointments etc. For a long time my main concern was her failing eyesight due to macular degeneration, which started to make those sorts of task far more difficult for her. Looking back I can see I should have picked up on her eye problems earlier, but she would mention them in passing along with the other minutiae of the day such as there being no organic skimmed milk in Marks and Spencer so I didn't take it very seriously.
It was only in the last few months at home that memory became a real issue, and that was mainly round her forgetting that she had hidden things to keep them safe. This led to her accusing the neighbours of stealing things. She also began to have problems with time. She could read an analogue clock, but not extrapolate useful information from it. So she would know it was 10.00 am, and she would also know her exercise class started at two, five minutes walk away, but she couldn't connect that that meant she had no need to put her coat on and go to said class.
Mum has a diagnosis of 'probable vascular dementia', but the last few weeks her memory loss has grown, she doesn't always recognise her room in the care home for instance, so I wonder if that is either a progression of the vascular dementia or if Alzheimer's disease is now in the mix.
 

Ruth1974

Registered User
Dec 26, 2018
64
Ruth that sounds so hard for you. I think it’s tough but it’s my mum and I don’t have young children to juggle
Well, they are 17 and 13 now so its less of a worry in terms of their care, but still horrible. They've never really had a dad
 

White Rose

Registered User
Nov 4, 2018
341
Like so many posts here, early indications are so hard to identify, and often seem to be accentuation of already present personality traits. My OH didn’t like social occasions so avoided them even more. An interest in something became more obsessive. Signs that something was ‘wrong’? Getting disoriented in familiar places, an inability to use tools as efficiently, mowing the lawn in not quite straight lines, navigating by sat nav always, mild anxiety, bringing two cups of tea and misplacing credit cards.
And so on.
What you've written @Joyt is interesting to me because my partner was very much the same - unsociable, at a social event he would often disappear and sit by himself. He also could only navigate with satnav, even when he'd been somewhere a dozen or more times he couldn't drive there without satnav - then one day when he couldn't work out how to use the satnav that was when I really knew something was wrong. These are not necessarily typical symptoms though, different personality types are no doubt as likely (or not) to get dementia. If only we could say that people who can't drive somewhere they've been before without using the satnav are the people who will get dementia I'd be happy as I'm actually quite good at finding my way without satnav!!
 

White Rose

Registered User
Nov 4, 2018
341
Hello,

I'm a doctoral researcher at WBS, and while my research is exclusively in Finance, I'm taking part in a Datathon next week, organised and run by the Dementias Platform UK / Medical Research Council.

I'm totally clueless about Dementia and Clinical Research in general, and during the Datathon, we will predominantly be using statistical and "machine learning" techniques to explore predictors of Dementia working with 'Big Data'.

Despite the statistical power of the data we'll be working with, I think experience from folks directly involved with people with dementia is invaluable. And gaining an insight into this experience will help me conduct much better analysis since I'll have contexts to work with.

With that in mind, I was hoping you could tell me about (and / or point me to research papers / evidence of) some early predictors of dementia you might be aware of?

Content on Dementia UK and Alzheimer's Society talks about factors like memory loss, behavioural changes, hallucinations, amongst others. These appear to be symptoms of someone who already has dementia.

Would you happen to know of / have details of attributes / changes several years before these symptoms showed up?

I'd sincerely appreciate any thoughts / comments / resources you may be able to share.

Thanks ever so much.

Kind regards,

Vash
Early on it's difficult to say whether symptoms are normal ageing or the beginnings of dementia. My partner started forgetting words but his GP told him it was age related. There must be a huge variety of early symptoms which might depend on a person's personality or the type of dementia. For example, some people mention personality changes but I don't think I saw that in my partner - now, yes, but that's 4 years after diagnosis. Still, any kind of research into this horrible disease can only be positive I guess - but all we really ask for is a cure.