Behavior changes offer clues that dementia could be brewing
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Changes in behavior or personality -- not memory loss -- might be an early warning sign that dementia is brewing.
Researchers on Sunday outlined a syndrome called "mild behavioral impairment" that may be a harbinger of Alzheimer's or other dementias. They proposed a checklist of symptoms to alert doctors and families.
The checklist makes clear the symptoms -- such as apathy, anxiety and unusual aggression -- must reflect changes in someone's prior behavior that have lasted at least six months.
Depression and other neuropsychiatric symptoms aren't uncommon in people who already have dementia. But in determining who's at risk, specialists say it's time to consider more than just forgetfulness.
The checklist was presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Toronto.