Dementia is commonly associated with memory loss and confusion. While these are indeed prevalent symptoms of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, there are other subtle signs that could easily go unnoticed, leading to delayed diagnosis and care.

Given the widespread occurrence of dementia in the United States, it is crucial to be aware of less-known signs of dementia and know when to consult a doctor for a dementia screening.

While occasional forgetfulness of a word is normal, a consistent pattern of language difficulties could indicate an early stage of dementia. Dr. Arif Dalvi, a neurologist and physician chief of the Movement Disorders Program at Delray Medical Center, explained via HuffPost that issues with self-expression, incorrect sentence construction, or difficulty finding words could occur before memory loss.

Such issues shouldn't be dismissed too quickly. Changes in spatial skills and direction could also serve as early signs of dementia. Dr. Dalvi noted that individuals might struggle to navigate previously familiar routes or require GPS assistance for journeys they once knew well.

In addition to these less-recognized symptoms, there are other factors to watch for. Difficulty in completing familiar tasks, heightened sensitivity to noise and alterations in taste and smell could all be potential indicators of dementia, as Dr. Stanley Appel, a neurologist and director of the Ann Kimball & John W. Johnson Center for Cellular Therapeutics at Houston Methodist, pointed out.

Dr. Dalvi emphasized that an unexplained abrupt change in personality or mood should raise concerns.

Alzheimer's disease remains the most common form of dementia, affecting approximately 5.8 million people in the United States. These include 5.6 million individuals aged 65 and older and around 200,000 individuals under the age of 65 with younger-onset Alzheimer's, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

By recognizing these subtle signs and knowing when to seek medical evaluation, individuals and their loved ones could take proactive steps toward early detection and appropriate management of dementia-related conditions, according to experts.