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Home :: Dementia

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Dementia - symptom, Treatment of Dementia

Dementia Information

Dementia is a deterioration in cognitive abilities that makes daily activities difficult or impossible. The abilities affected by Dementia are usually memory, attension, judgment, learning and orientation. Dementia affects one person in 20 aged over 65 years and one person in five over 80 years of age. The most striking changes involve memory and performance in almost all areas of life. Dementias include some of the most devastating mental disorders. Irreversible dementia is caused by an incurable condition (e.g., Alzheimer's disease). Patients with irreversible dementia are eventually unable to care for themselves and may require round-the-clock care. The prevalence of dementia has been difficult to determine, partly because of differences in definition among different studies, and partly because there is some normal decline in functional ability with age. The progress of Dementia is slow and these losses of ability are noticed over a long period of time. Since the elderly are most commonly affected by the Dementia, many of these problems are dismissed as old age.

Dementia usually is caused by degeneration in the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain responsible for thoughts, memories, actions and personality. Dementia-like symptoms may also be caused by treatable conditions, such as severe depression, urinary infection, vitamin deficiency and brain tumour. Dementia may be suspected if memory deficits are exhibited during the medical history and physical examination. Information from the patient's family members, friends and caregivers may also point to signs of dementia. Talk with your doctor. Your doctor can do tests to find out if your signs are caused by dementia. A variety of rating scales are available for evaluating cognitive function. Their use may or may not be required in the evaluation of early dementia.

Type of Dementia %
Alzheimer's disease 55%
Vascular dementia 20%
Dementia with Lewy bodies 15%
Pick's disease and frontal lobe dementia 5%
Other dementias 5%

Cuases of Dementia

Although Alzheimer's disease is the most widely talked about, there are many varities that ate more common.

  • A slow or repeated reduction of blood supply in the frontal parts of the brain is the commonmost cause of Dementia.
  • Alcholism
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Vitamins B1 deficiency
  • AIDS

Deficiency of other vitamins can also cause Dementia. Dementia is most common in boxers who have a career of repeated head injuries. The primary management strategy for progressive dementia is to preserve function and independence, and to maintain quality of life for as long as possible. Avoiding substance abuse and addiction can reduce the risk for dementia resulting from disease, vitamin deficiency, seizure, and head injury.

Questions To Ask Your Doctor About Dementia

  • What is the cause of the dementia?

  • Is the dementia secondary to some other disease?

  • To what extent is there brain damage?

  • What treatments are available?

  • How can we best cope?

  • What is the prognosis - what can we expect?
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