Top 10 symptoms of dementia

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 August, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 August, 2006, 12:00am

The Hong Kong Alzheimer's Association ( says the following are the most typical symptoms of someone suffering from dementia, and should be taken as warning signs to call your doctor.

1 Memory impairment, especially short-term memory affecting self-care abilities

2 Difficulty in performing familiar tasks

3 Disorientation towards time, place and person

4 Poor or decreased judgment

5 Misplacing things

6 Problems with abstract thinking

7 Changes in mood or behaviour

8 Changes in personality

9 Loss of initiative

10 Problems with self-expression.

In September last year, Timothy Kwok Chi-yui, project director of the Jockey Club Centre for Positive Ageing and a professor at Chinese University, said elderly people should play mahjong and undertake volunteer work to help protect against dementia (Alzheimer's is probably the best known form), which is estimated to affect 6.5 per cent of Hong Kong people over 70.

The advice was given on the eve of World Alzheimer's Day, with the release of a survey showing that, although 80 per cent of respondents knew what dementia was, many still held misconceptions about the disease.

It recommended early medical consultation for those showing symptoms.