Dementia explains a group of symptoms affecting memory, thinking, social abilities to perform everyday activities. Approximately 50 million and 10 million people have dementia and new cases of dementia, respectively. Even though dementia generally related to memory loss, yet having memory loss alone does not mean you have dementia since there are many causes of memory loss.
What are the causes of dementia?
Dementia is damaged the cells in the brain. This damage interferes with the ability in the brain cells to communicate with other cells. While cells in the brain unable to communicate, thinking, behavior, and feeling can be affected. Dementia can affect individuals differently and causes different symptoms.
How many types of dementia?
Below are the types of dementias that progress and are not reversible.
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Vascular dementia
- Lewy body dementia
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Mixed dementia
Besides that, other illness linked to dementia
- Huntington’s disease
- Traumatic brain injury
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
- Parkinson’s disease
However, there are some causes of dementia or dementia-link conditions that be reversed.
- Infections and immune disorders
- Metabolic problems and endocrine abnormality
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Medication side effects
- Subdural hematomas
- Brain tumors
- Normal-pressure hydrocephalus
What are the symptoms of dementia?
- Memory loss which is usually noticed by the closest person can be a spouse or someone else
- Having difficultly to communication or finding words
- Having difficulty with visual and spatial ability including getting lost while driving
- Having difficultly to solve the problems or reasoning
- Having difficultly to handle complete tasks
- Having difficultly to plan or organize
- Having difficultly to coordination and motor functions
- Confusion and disorientation
- Changing personalities
- Inappropriate behavior
Dementia affects each individual in various ways and depending upon the impact of the disease and the personality of the person before becoming ill. Dementia can be understood in three stages as below.
- Losing track of the time
- Lost in familiar in a place
- Forgetful of a recent event and people’s name
- Lost at home
- The increasing difficulty of communication
- Needing to help with personal care
- Experiencing behavior changes including wandering and repeated questioning
- Unaware of the time and place
- Difficulty recognizing relative and friends
- Increasing the need for helping self-care
- Difficulty walking
- Experiencing behavior changes that may escalate and aggression
How to diagnose dementia?
There is no one test to clarify whether someone has dementia. Physicians diagnosed with other types of dementia and Alzheimer’s by analyzing your condition based on a careful of medical history, a physical examination, laboratory tests, and characteristic change in thinking, and function and behaviors associated with each type.
How to treat dementia?
There is no treatment available to cure dementia currently or to alter its progressive course. Many new treatments are being investigated in different stages of clinical trials.
Even though, people who diagnosed with dementia need support from carers and families. The main goals for dementia care are:
- Early diagnosis in order to improve early and optimal management
- Optimizing physical health, cognition, activities, and well-being
- Identify and treating accompanying physical illness
- Detecting and treating challenging behavioral and psychological symptoms
- Providing information and long-term support to carers
How to prevent dementia?
Though age is the strongest known risk factor for dementia, there is not an inevitable consequence of aging. Additionally, dementia does not exclusively affect older people, young-onset dementia (onset symptoms before 65 years old). There is no certain way to avoid dementia, yet there are many steps you can take that might help.
- Keep your mind active
- Be physical and socially active
- Quit smoking
- Prevention from harmful use of alcohol
- Maintain body weight
- Get enough vitamins
- Manage blood pressure (high blood pressure), cholesterol, blood sugar (diabetes)
- Treat health conditions
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Get quality sleep
- Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Retrieved May 2020, from Dementia: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dementia/symptoms-causes/syc-20352013
- World Health Organization. (2019, September 19). Retrieved May 2020, from Dementia: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dementia
- (n.d.). Retrieved May 2020, from Alzheimer’s Association: https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-dementia