‘How I First Knew Something Was Wrong:’ An Oral History of Early Dementia – 5 stories

This interesting, short article in “Being Patient” offers vignettes for five people diagnosed with different types of dementia.  The five share their first symptoms and when “they first knew something was not quite right.”

Don was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia at age 64, after seeing six neurologists.  One of his first symptoms was personality change:  he suddenly developed an explosive personality, was very angry, and would say mean things to people.  Another early symptom was loss of sense of taste, which he later came to describe as a “taste hallucination.”

Chris was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia.  He noticed that work became more difficult  and he began not feeling comfortable driving as a result of depth perception issues.

John was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) at age 46 though the diagnosis was later changed to frontotemporal dementia.  Kathy was diagnosed with early-onset dementia at age 57.

Eugenia was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 72.

And Arthena was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at age 51, after having seen her father and several of his siblings develop early onset AD.  Arthena’s first symptoms were forgetting information she had known for decades.  One day she left her car running for eight hours in the parking lot at work.

Read their stories here:


‘How I First Knew Something Was Wrong:’ An Oral History of Early Dementia – 5 stories
by Genevieve Glass
Being Patient
April 16, 2021