What is dementia?
Dementia is not a specific disease. It comprises of wide range of symptoms that are associated with loss of memory or a decline in mental ability that can be severely interfering with daily activities in life. Memory loss is the best way of understanding dementia. One of the most common types of dementia is the Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80% of cases. The other prevalent form of dementia that affects a person soon after a stroke is the vascular dementia. Thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies are few of the common conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia.
Symptoms of dementia
There are many symptoms that can cause dementia in a person. At least two among the following mental functions in a person can be considered to having dementia.
- Memory loss
- Lack of concentration
- Change in language and communication
- Reasoning and judgement etc.
People having dementia may face common problems such as short-term memory, forgetting where they kept things like purse or cell phone, preparing food, travelling out, not remembering things like turning of the gas or motor after switching it on. Dementia can also get progressive where the symptoms emerge slowly and gradually get worse very soon. It is important for a person who faces these symptoms or finds these issues in other person, to rush to the medical advisor immediately. Doctors will assess the patients and if are diagnosed with dementia, then they will sort out plans to treat it. The earlier you approach a doctor upon noticing the symptoms of dementia, the better it will be to receive maximum treatment options. Women affected of dementia can refer the health tips for working women to lessen the symptoms of dementia.
Possible causes of dementia
Dementia is basically caused by the damage to the cells in the brain. This damage interferes with the ability of the brain cells in communicating with each other. When these brain cells are not able to communicate effectively, then behavior, thought process, feeling and action of a person are being affected.
Certain types of brain cell damage in particular areas of the brain constitute to different types of dementia. In Alzheimer’s case, high levels of certain proteins make it hard for brain cells to communicate with each other. Hippocampus, a region in the brain is the center of learning and memory. Brain cells in these regions often become the first to be damaged. That is why memory loss is one of the earliest recognized symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
Though most changes in the brain that cause dementia worsen over time, thinking and memory which have been caused by the following conditions could still be improved if the condition is being addressed at the earliest by an expert physician:
- Alcohol addiction
- Deficiency of vitamins
- Thyroid problems
- Side effects by medication
Venturing into a depressed state as a result of severe joint pain can cause dementia. At such circumstance, it is better advised to indulge in workout for joint pain to control the pain symptoms.
There is no single test to discover dementia in someone. Physicians diagnose dementia by performing various tests over the patients like laboratory tests, physical examination, evaluating the behavior and thought process of the patients. They also carefully assess the medical history of the patient before jumping to the conclusion. Though doctors will be able to determine dementia in patients with absolute certainty, it is still difficult to ascertain which type of dementia the patient is affected with. It is necessary for a patient to visit a neurologist if the general physician is not able to find out the exact type of dementia.
Treatment of dementia depends upon the cause and type of dementia. For instance, in the Alzheimer’s case which is a progressive form of dementia has no cure and treatment that can possibly improve or prevent dementia completely. Drugs that have been prescribed for treating Alzheimer’s can also be used for helping certain symptoms of other types of dementias. Even non-drug therapies help in reducing certain symptoms of dementia.