- Memory loss. This is usually the earliest and most noticeable symptom.
- Trouble recalling recent events or recognizing people and places.
- Trouble finding the right words.
- Problems planning and carrying out tasks, such as balancing a checkbook, following a recipe, or writing a letter.
- Trouble exercising judgment, such as knowing what to do in an emergency.
- Trouble controlling moods or behaviors. Depression is common, and agitation or aggression may occur.
- Not keeping up personal care such as grooming or bathing.
Some types of dementia cause particular symptoms:
- People who have dementia with Lewy bodies often have highly detailed visual hallucinations. And they may fall frequently.
- The first symptoms of frontotemporal dementia may be personality changes or unusual behavior. People with this condition may not express any caring for others, or they may say rude things, expose themselves, or make sexually explicit comments.
It is important to know that memory loss can be caused by conditions other than dementia, such as depression, and that those conditions can be treated. Also, occasional trouble with memory (such as briefly forgetting someone's name) can be a normal part of aging. But if you are worried about memory loss or if a loved one has memory loss that is getting worse, see your doctor.