This surprising symptom could be an early sign of dementia

webnexttech | This surprising symptom could be an early sign of dementia

A British doctor shared a surprisingly warning sign of dementia — the mind-deteriorating condition that afflicts more than 55 million worldwide. The obvious symptoms of dementia include memory loss, but Dr. Ahmad Khundakar told Express in an interview published Saturday that difficulty swallowing could be an early indicator of the disorder. In fact, the unusual symptom, also known as dysphagia, was mentioned in a 2008 study published in the National Library of Medicine. Dysphagia “occurs due to damage to brain regions responsible for movement and coordination, including those controlling the swallowing reflex,” Khundakar told the outlet. “Those living with dementia may experience muscle weakness, coordination problems, and reduced throat sensation, leading to difficulties in swallowing,” he added. The main cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, the well known illness prevalent in older adults that affects memory loss and behavior. There are more than 6 million Americans, of all ages, that have Alzheimer’s — with a count of 6.7 million Americans age 65 and older living with the disease in 2023, Alzheimer’s Association reported. Symptoms of dysphagia that Dr. Khundakar shared were obsessive chewing and feeling the need to hold onto food in the mouth while eating. This will lead to weight loss, dehydration, and malnutrition. The NHS East Sussex Healthcare Trust says the signs of dysphagia are widespread and should not be ignored, emphasizing how common it is for people with dementia to have difficulty eating or drinking. “There are risks associated with having dysphagia including aspiration (food going down the wrong way into the lungs), choking, poor nutrition and a reduced quality of life,” NHS said.

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