‘Unusual’ throat symptom could be warning sign of dementia, experts warn

By Staff 5 Min Read

There are many misconceptions about dementia, including that it only affects our cognitive ability. However, one expert has warned the condition may also have an impact on our throat

Dementia isn’t just severe memory loss and confusion – and can actually have a huge impact on our physical ability.

While dementia is not a disease itself, it’s often used as an umbrella term to describe a collection of symptoms that result from damage to the brain caused by different conditions (such as Alzheimer’s Disease). Many people are fully aware that dementia affects one’s cognitive ability, but an expert has warned it can also affect the throat.

While there is no current cure for dementia, a diagnosis is essential in ensuring you get all the support you need. Certain medications and therapies can also alleviate some of the side effects, or slow down their development. So, here’s what to look out for.

Dr. Ahmad Khundakar is a Senior Lecturer at Teesside University. According to the Express, he warned that one ‘unusual’ sign of dementia is experiencing difficulty while swallowing. Medically, this is referred to as dysphagia.

“It occurs due to damage to brain regions responsible for movement and coordination, including those controlling the swallowing reflex,” the expert added. “Those living with dementia may experience muscle weakness, coordination problems, and reduced throat sensation, leading to difficulties in swallowing.”

According to the NHS, dysphagia is often a sign of the later stages of dementia, where a person is likely to ‘neglect their own health’ and require constant care and supervision.

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Of course, difficulty swallowing could be caused by a plethora of less serious issues such as heartburn, acid reflux, and even a potential side effect of certain medications. However, if you’re concerned about your symptoms it’s important to see a doctor.

Other common warning signs to look out for include:

  • Memory loss
  • Finding it difficult to carry out familiar daily tasks
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mood changes
  • Being confused about time and place
  • Struggling to follow a conversation or find the right word

If you or a loved on is struggling with dementia – you can get support here.

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