Dementia symptoms: The early warning sign when watching the TV – it can last for ‘hours’

Steve Thompson recalls signs of his early-onset dementia

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Dementia is not one disease but several.

The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s Disease.

Named after the man who discovered it in 1906, Dr Alzheimer, the disease has been a thorn in the side of science and humanity ever since.

However, while current treatments are less effective than hoped, scientists do know more about how certain behaviours can indicate the presence of Alzheimer’s.

These include innocuous, benign looking habits such as watching the television.

Alzheimer’s Disease International say: “At times everyone can become tired of housework, business activities, or social obligations.

“However, a person with dementia may become very passive, sitting in front of the television for hours, sleeping more than usual, or appearing to lose interest in hobbies.”

Subsequently, decreased levels of activity can act as a red flag for loved ones.

Another set of major red flags are the statistics around dementia.

In recent years scientists have discovered up to one in three people born today will experience a form of dementia in their lifetime.

As a result, there is an upcoming, albeit slow moving, wave of dementia patients on the horizon.

At this point, the obvious action would be to increase funding into dementia research so this threat can be tackled head on.

However, this is not the case; the UK government recently decided to cut dementia funding in a bid to save money.

Charities such as Alzheimer’s Research UK are saying funding should be increased rather than cut.

Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, Susan Mitchell, said: “Given the government has so far not delivered on its ‘Dementia Moonshot’ pledge to double funding for dementia research we need to see commitments followed up by clear plans with accountability and suitable funding to enable delivery.”

Mitchell’s comments came hours after Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced the government had an ambitious plan to tackle dementia; the plan is set to be revealed later this year.

Meanwhile, Mitchell adds Alzheimer’s Research UK has called for the “creation of a Dementia Medicines Taskforce to address the urgent need for new treatments for people with dementia”.

Despite bold words by both politicians and campaigners, it can be hard to put into mind the damage dementia does to the brain over time.

Such is the damage dementia wrecks on a mind, the brain of someone with dementia weighs around 140 grams less a healthy brain.

That is about the same weight as an orange.

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