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Dementia is a painful and difficult experience for sufferers and their loved ones and can be very difficult to spot.

It is statistically the UK’s biggest killer, accounting for 67,000 UK deaths each year. Studies are underway to find new ways to treat dementia and improve the lifestyle of those affected by the disease.

Daily Express reports that a change in eating habits can be a warning sign to which loved ones should be attentive. According to the charity Alzheimer’s UK, patients may “crave sugary, fatty or carbohydrate foods and forget their table manners”.

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The charity adds: “They may also not know when to stop eating, drinking alcohol or smoking.”

Dr Cara Croft – one of the charity’s lead scientists – says a new treatment for dementia could be available within the next 10 years. While this is beneficial for patients of the future, it leaves patients of the present in a controlled state of decline.

Besides the change in eating habits, other symptoms of FTD are:

• Being insensitive or rude

• Act impulsively

• Loss of inhibitions

• Seeming discreet

• Loss of interest in people and things

• Loss of dynamism and motivation

• Inability to focus with others

• Repetitive behaviors

• Compulsive eating

• Neglecting personal hygiene

• Using words incorrectly

• Loss of vocabulary

• Repetition of a limited number of phrases

• Forgetting the meaning of common words.

Dementia can be difficult to quantify or understand unless you experience the loss of a family member. When this tragic event occurs, it is often said that the family and the individual suffer not one, but two deaths.

The second death is that of the body, when it finally succumbs to disease. However, the first is potentially the most difficult, that of the spirit, the point where the two sides of dementia divide no longer recognize the person they once loved and held.