People who believe loved ones may be in need of psychiatric care should know that memory loss is not the definitive symptom of dementia, according to one expert.
Professor June Andrews, director of the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling, said one of the first indictors of dementia is when people cease being able to perform tasks they have been able to do effectively in the past.
She described the scenario as 'diminutions of previous faculties' and does not necessarily mean that a person will become completely devoid of the capability – merely not as good as they used to be.
Ms Andrews said it is particularly important to diagnose dementia at an early stage as that is when treatment can be the most effective.
Her comments came after the Department of Health launched a media campaign to raise public awareness of the early symptoms of dementia.