Noticing This While Food Shopping Could Be An Early Sign Of Dementia

Dr. Restak revealed the signs in his new book.
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In his recently-released book, How To Prevent Dementia, neurologist and author Dr. Restak shared lesser-known signs of dementia ― as well as ways of keeping the condition at bay for longer.

“In most cases, an onset event or starting point [for dementia] cannot be identified,” he said, even though “we know for sure... that the disease process begins long before the first appearance of symptoms.“

While it’s hard to spot the early signs, however, all cases are “marked by an uncertain starting point called Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).”

What is this, and how can it show up when I’m shopping?

First of all, MCI isn’t always a sign of dementia, Dr. Restak says.

“MCI may or may not be the initial starting point for Alzheimer’s disease; only the passage of time can permit that determination,” he says. Those with MCI may still function more or less as usual, with only slight symptoms at first.

But while MCI might not always mean Alzheimer’s is on the way, Alzheimer’s very often begins with MCI. So, monitoring the “barely noticeable” changes can be key, Dr. Restak says.

Though you might need a “keen eye” to spot early MCI, as it “involve[s] a mild decline in thinking, occurring in a setting of overall generally acceptable function,” Dr. Restak says that shopping for groceries is a good example of where signs may show up.

“The person with MCI can come and go to the supermarket, for instance, but must write down a grocery list; nor can the person remember, as done previously, the aisle in which a particular grocery item can be found,” he says.

It’s all about noticing slight declines in a previous proficiency ― another example of MCI is the businessman who suddenly needs to start taking notes in meetings and is becoming increasingly forgetful and irritable.

Again, MCI doesn’t always indicate dementia

“MCI affects about 8% of people in the ages 65–69 range; 10% of those in the 70–74 range, and 15% of people 75–79 years of age. Over a third of people aged 85 and older are affected with MCI,” Dr. Restak shared. It is not always a sign of dementia.

However, it can be an early indicator to keep an eye on ― if you suspect dementia in yourself or a loved one, the NHS recommends visiting your GP as soon as possible.

“Getting a diagnosis gives you and your family the best chance to prepare for the future.

“With treatment and support from healthcare professionals, family, and friends, many people are able to lead active, fulfilling lives with dementia,” they shared.