Is an Increased Sex Drive a Dementia Red Flag?

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Playing Is Increased Sex Drive an Early Warning Sign of Dementia?

Could a boost in sex drive be an early sign of possible dementia? The Doctors discuss the surprising possible connection.

Research has found that hypersexuality -- the excessive preoccupation with sexual fantasies, urges or behaviors -- maybe be one of the earliest signs of frontotemporal dementia or possibly even Alzheimer’s.

Watch: How to Care for Someone Suffering with Dementia

The Doctors note this a good reminder that in addition to memory and cognitive issues, dementia can also affect someone's behavior.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Judy Ho explains frontotemporal dementia can cause antisocial behavior issues, acting uninhibited, lacking empathy, and problems controlling impulses. She goes on to explain this can lead to a progressive sexual addiction as well. Additionally, Dr. Judy says someone with frontotemporal dementia may experience language issues.

Dr. Judy says the best approach to dealing with someone who is hypersexual as a result of frontotemporal dementia is to redirect their behavior.

Watch: Foods That Could Diminish Dementia Risk

The typical age that frontotemporal dementia tends to set in is anywhere from 45 to 65. According to The Mayo Clinic, other early signs and symptoms of dementia include:

  • Memory loss, which is usually noticed by a spouse or someone else
  • Difficulty communicating or finding words
  • Difficulty with visual and spatial abilities, such as getting lost while driving
  • Difficulty reasoning or problem-solving
  • Difficulty handling complex tasks
  • Difficulty with planning and organizing
  • Difficulty with coordination and motor functions
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Personality changes
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Inappropriate behavior
  • Paranoia
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations
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