When assessing symptoms of dementia, it's important to consider the possibility of reversible causes. While it can be time-consuming to rule out these conditions one by one, it's worth the effort in case the problem is fixable.

Reversible causes of dementia may include infections, vitamin deficiencies, thyroid dysfunction, medication issues, excess fluid in the brain, or brain tumors. It's essential to leave no stone unturned when looking for the causes of dementia.

It's crucial to understand that dementia is not a normal part of aging. Although advancing age is a risk factor for dementia, it doesn't always lead to it. To distinguish between normal aging changes and signs of dementia, it's helpful to consider the following table.

For example, forgetting a new acquaintance's name may be a normal aging change, while forgetting the name of close friends or family could be a sign of dementia. Other signs may include getting lost in a familiar place, placing items in unusual places, or exhibiting unusual risk-taking behaviors. Additionally, experiencing vision changes resulting in misty or cloudy eyesight, having trouble judging distances or knowing if an object is moving or still, or seeing things others don't see may also be a sign of dementia.