Dementia is a term used to describe symptoms which include loss of memory, difficulties with problem solving, language or thinking. It occurs as a result of brain damage caused by diseases like Alzheimer’s or stroke. Dementia can also be used to describe decline of an individual’s mental ability it interferes with their ability to carry out simple day to day activities.
Some of the symptoms that indicate one is suffering from dementia include changes in behavior, mood or personality.
In most cases, it can be treated and cured as well since the cause is often treatable. 80% of reported dementia cases are attributed to Alzheimer’s disease.
Vascular dementia is the second popular type of dementia and occurs mostly in people who repeatedly suffer from strokes. There are other conditions which can also lead to dementia and these include vitamin deficiencies and thyroid problems.
Dementia is progressive which means the brain chemistry and structure becomes more damaged over certain duration. Progression of dementia varies from one individual to another because people are unique and they also have different experiences.
The way people handle this condition is dependent on a couple of factors such as emotional resilience, physical make up and the kind of support they receive. Dementia is caused by damage of the brain cells. Due to this damage, the brain cells can no longer communicate in a normal way and this affects normal feelings, behavior and thinking.
There are different distinct regions that form the brain and each is responsible for carrying out different types of functions. For instance movement, ability to judge and memory as such whenever cells in any of these regions are damaged, such functions can no longer be carried out normally.
For dementia to be treated it must be diagnosed first yet, there is no specific test used to carry this out. Doctors however, diagnose it by carefully carrying out laboratory tasks, physical examination, medical history checks, characteristic changes in behavior, thinking and day to day functions of an individual.
Doctors are able to determine with certainty, whether one is suffering from dementia after carrying out these tests. However, it is a bit difficult to determine what type of dementia one is suffering from since the symptoms and changes in brain functions tend to overlap. In cases where it’s difficult for doctors to highlight the type of dementia, patients should seek the opinion of a gero-psychologist or neurologist.
Treatment varies in accordance to the cause but in cases of progressive dementias such as Alzheimer’s no cure is available and there is no medication to stop or slow progression. However, in such cases, certain drug treatments can improve symptoms if only temporarily. Cases of people suffering from dementia are on the increase today than in the past.