Health Check Podcast: When should you get checked for dementia?

Earlier this month, Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) said during the debate on its budget that an inter-agency team is developing a 10-minute digital drawing test to help encourage people to seek help early for dementia. PHOTO: ST FILE

Synopsis: Every first and third Wednesday of the month, The Straits Times helps you make sense of health matters that affect you.

Earlier this month, Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) said during the debate on its budget that an inter-agency team is developing a 10-minute digital drawing test to help encourage people to seek help early for dementia. It analyses how people draw certain shapes and symbols and is expected to be ready in 2024.

Seeking help early can help improve the quality of life of someone with dementia - a general term for the cognitive and behavioural symptoms, such as memory loss and an impaired ability to reason, that are typically caused by brain diseases. As the population ages, the number of people living with dementia is expected to rise.

The question is how would we know if we have dementia and when should we seek help? Is forgetfulness the key early symptom to look out for? Is there any way to arrest the changes that dementia brings?

In this episode, ST senior health correspondent Joyce Teo speaks with Dr Simon Ting, Senior Consultant, Department of Neurology, at the National Neuroscience Institute in Singapore.

Highlights (click/tap above):

01:04 Family members and caregivers important in spotting the tell-tale signs of dementia in patients

03:41 Tests that are usually done to check for dementia

06:13 Why would someone come in early to get tested for dementia?

13:27 Supplements that can help with dementia

14:25 Normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) is one of the conditions that can get mistaken for dementia

Produced by: Joyce Teo (joyceteo@sph.com.sg), Ernest Luis, Fa'izah Sani and Eden Soh 

Edited by: Eden Soh and Fa'izah Sani

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