In the past, when you first hear the word “Dementia”; a streak of fear runs through you. In a flash you imagine an open-mouthed, boggle eye human with hair standing on end and the blood-curdling screams coming from him.
These days, the word is so commonly used, you don’t even blink when you hear it. Thanks to technology, Google etc. We now have a better understanding of dementia, its causes, effects on others and who gets it.
Dementia has a number of definitions. It is an overall term for diseases and conditions characterized by a decline in memory, language, problem-solving and other thinking skills; that affect a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. An example is memory loss.
Causes, Symptoms and Probable Treatment.
Alzheimer’s disease accounts for up to 80% of cases of dementia; vascular dementia which is caused by bleeding or blood vessel blockage in the brain is also a major cause of dementia. Dementia is caused by damage to the brain cells. This damage interferes with the ability of the brain cells communicate with each other. When cells in a particular region of the brain are damaged, that area cannot carry out its functions normally.
To see a doctor as soon as you notice someone is experiencing memory difficulties or other changes in thinking skills.
Symptoms: these vary greatly.
: Problems with short term memory
: keeping track of a purse or wallet
: paying bills
: planning ad preparing meals: remembering appointments
: travelling out of the neighbourhood
Most cases of dementia are progressive, meaning symptoms start slowly and gradually gets worse.
Some forms of brain changes that cause dementia are treatable or can be addressed. eg.
Medication side effects and excess use of alcohol
Thyroid problems and vitamin deficiency.
Treatment of dementia depends on its cause. In most progressive dementia, there is no cure and no treatment that slows or stops its progression.