There are 7 symptoms of dementia, known as the 7 A’s of dementia, as each medical term starts with the letter A. Please note that not everyone will experience all 7 symptoms. For more informal descriptions of symptoms of dementia and helpful tips, please consult our blog Understanding Dementia and the 7 Symptoms.

The 7 A’s of Dementia are:

  1. Anosognosia – no knowledge of illness or condition caused by damage/changes to the brain’s frontal lobe which is responsible for our self-image.
    • Easily confused with embarrassment but it’s genuine unawareness of the disease.
  2. Aphasia – difficulty with, or often complete loss of, all aspects of language caused by damage to the left side of the brain responsible for language
    • Expressive aphasia (non-fluent) is where someone has difficulty communicating their thoughts and ideas
    • Receptive aphasia (fluent) is where someone has difficulty understanding things.
    • Anomic aphasia, also known as amnesia, is where someone has difficulty finding the right names for people, objects or places.
    • Global aphasia is the most severe form of aphasia where someone loses almost all language function including the ability to speak, understand speech, read or write.
  3. Agnosia – loss of recognition and inability to process sensory information.
    • Auditory agnosia is the inability to recognize or differentiate between sounds. An example would be the inability to recognize familiar voices.
    • Tactile agnosia which is the inability to recognize or identify objects by touch. An example would be the inability to utlize parts of the body.
    • Visual agnosia which is the inability to recognize objects. An example would be the inability to recognize familiar faces.
  4. Apraxia – loss of purposeful or skilled physical movement even if the instruction to do so is understood.
    • Buccofacial or orofacial – the inability to carry out facial movements on command such as licking lips, whistling, or winking.
    • Limb-kinetic – the inability to make fine, precise movements with an arm or leg.
    • Ideomotor – the inability to make the proper movement in response to a verbal command.
    • Ideational – the inability to make multiple, sequential movements, such as dressing, eating, and bathing.
    • Verbal – difficulty coordinating mouth and speech movements.
    • Constructional – the inability to copy, draw, or construct simple figures.
    • Oculomotor – difficulty moving the eyes on command.
  5. Amnesia – the loss of memory and/or the inability to form new memories
    • Anterograde – the inability to form new memories
    • Retrograde – the loss of existing, previously made memories
    • Transient global amnesia (TGA) – fluctuating confusion or agitation over the course of several hours.
  6. Altered perception – loss of visual perception and the inability to interpret sensory information.
    • An example would be difficulty with depth perception and ability to correctly judge the distance from themselves to an object which results in bumps and falls
  7.  Apathy – loss of interest, enthusiasm or concern for everyday things as well as lack of initiating conversation. Some examples of this symptom include
    • Lack of personal hygiene
    • Loss of interest in previous hobbies
    • Lack of cleaning and daily life upkeep

The 7 A’s of dementia are very common symptoms of Dementia, though as mentioned, not all will suffer every one. Check out our other blog Understanding Dementia and the 7 Symptoms to help you learn more about the most common symptoms and how you can help your loved one live a beautiful life with Dementia.