Early Warning Signs & Diagnosis

Early Warning Signs

Dementia can present itself with a wide variety of symptoms. Here is a list of symptoms that might be present with dementia. If you or a loved one seem to present some of them, consult your doctor for a complete and thorough assessment. Remember that some of these symptoms may appear in normal aging, but if they start to affect your daily living, they might be a symptom of dementia.

  • Memory loss
  • A loss of initiative
  • Problems with misplacing objects
  • Decreased judgment
  • Problems with complex thinking
  • Problems with language
  • Problems executing tasks that used to be familiar
  • Problems with spatial skills and disorientation with time and space
  • Change in behaviour, mood or personality

Early Signs of dementia are discussed in more details in the following Fact Sheet:


There is no diagnostic test for dementia. Doctors need to rely on a number of assessments and tests to rule out other possible causes. The assessments and tests include: personal history, physical examination, laboratory tests and test of mental abilities.

Depending on results, brain scans may be necessary. These can greatly help in differentiating which type of dementia is implicated. Having a correct diagnosis improves the help and care that can be offered to the person with dementia.

Diagnosis is discussed in more details in the following Fact Sheets:

Benefits of Early Diagnosis

Early diagnosis is critical. Symptoms of dementia can be similar to symptoms of other conditions such as strokes, depression, thyroid or heart disease infections, nutritional deficiencies, and drug interactions or alcohol abuse. Many of these conditions can be treated. The earlier a treatment can be given, the better the result.

Finding out the cause of the symptoms can help people:

  • Understand the source of the symptoms
  • Get the proper care and treatment
  • Access advice, information and support
  • Plan for the future

The benefits of early Diagnosis and how to begin the conversation are discussed in more details in the following Fact Sheets:

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