The Hamilton Spectator - - HEALTH -

Re­searchers on Sun­day out­lined a syn­drome called “mild be­havioural im­pair­ment” that may be a har­bin­ger of Alzheimer’s or other de­men­tias, and pro­posed a check­list of symp­toms to help iden­tify who’s at risk. The symp­toms must mark a change from prior be­hav­iour and have lasted at least six months. Among the ques­tions:

•Has the per­son lost in­ter­est in friends, fam­ily or home ac­tiv­i­ties?

•Has the per­son be­come less spon­ta­neous and ac­tive — for ex­am­ple, is he/she less likely to ini­ti­ate or main­tain con­ver­sa­tion?

•Does the per­son view her­self/him­self as a bur­den to fam­ily?

•Has the per­son be­come more anx­ious or wor­ried about things that are rou­tine, like events, vis­its?

•Does the per­son feel very tense, hav­ing de­vel­oped an in­abil­ity to re­lax, or shak­i­ness, or symp­toms of panic?

•Has the per­son be­come ag­i­tated, ag­gres­sive, ir­ri­ta­ble or tem­per­a­men­tal?

•Does the per­son hoard ob­jects when she/he did not do so be­fore?

•Has the per­son re­cently de­vel­oped trou­ble reg­u­lat­ing smok­ing, al­co­hol, drug in­take or gam­bling, or started shoplift­ing?

•Does the per­son say rude or crude things or make lewd sex­ual re­marks that she/he would not have said be­fore?

•Has the per­son started talk­ing openly about very per­sonal or pri­vate mat­ters not usu­ally dis­cussed in pub­lic?

•Has the per­son de­vel­oped be­liefs that they are in dan­ger, or that oth­ers are plan­ning to harm them or steal their be­long­ings? •Does the per­son re­port or act as if see­ing things or hear­ing voices?

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