What is dementia?
Dementia is a general term for a group of conditions characterized by a decline in memory, thinking and reasoning. Dementia is not simply age-related forgetfulness. It is associated with other changes as well. It makes a person unable to perform their routine tasks. They find it difficult to focus, understand, concentrate and have a conversation besides other complaints. Dementia is associated with abnormal brain cell changes that may occur due to several conditions such as
What are the early signs of dementia?
The early signs of dementia may vary depending on the cause of dementia. Some of the early signs include
- A progressive decline in memory
- Inability to focus and concentrate
- Repeatedly asking the same questions
- Forgetting something they just read or heard
- Trouble staying organized
- Becoming overly anxious
- Finding it difficult to make and execute plans
- Forgetting names
- A lack of interest in the surroundings. The person avoids holding conversations or participating in activities.
- Inability to remember personal details such as phone number and home address.
- They may confuse people and relations. For example, they may confuse their wife with their mother.
- They forget names, but may recognize faces.
- They may exhibit loss of bowel and bladder control.
- Abnormal visual perceptions such as hallucinations (seeing things that are not there) and inability to detect movement or see the difference between colors.
- The person needs help for basic needs such as eating, drinking, sitting up and walking. Eventually, they may even forget how to smile or swallow their food properly.
- They often develop stiffness and joint deformities.
Can dementia be cured?
Most types of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, involve irreversible changes in the brain, so they cannot be cured. Dementia due to certain reasons such as medications, vitamin deficiencies and alcohol use may be curable.
Although most types of dementia cannot be cured, they can be managed. The management of dementia involves a comprehensive approach involving the support of family and friends, psychological therapies, medications, diet and physical activity.
- Medications: Medicines for dementia include
- Cholinesterase inhibitors such as donepezil, rivastigmine and galantamine
- Antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Medications to manage anxiety such as lorazepam and oxazepam
- Antipsychotic medications such as haloperidol, olanzapine and risperidone
- Medications to manage underlying health conditions such as diabetes and hypertension
- Therapies such as cognitive stimulation therapy (CST) and occupational therapy
- Relaxing rituals such as meditation, adequate sleep and music
- A healthy diet and regular exercise
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top 16 Early Signs of Dementia Related Articles
10 Early Signs and Symptoms of DementiaDementia is not a single disease; it is a broad term given to a disease complex consisting of loss of thinking, remembering, and reasoning that can be seen as one of the striking features in various neurological disorders. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly.
Dementia Foods: Foods that May Lower Dementia RiskWhat foods are associated with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia? Cognitive function is predicated on good nutrition. Learn how vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins like fish can lead to a healthier brain. Discover why foods that stave off heart disease are good for brain function.
DementiaDementia is defined as a significant loss of intellectual abilities such as memory capacity, severe enough to interfere with social or occupational functioning. There are several different types of dementia, including cortical, subcortical, progressive, primary, and secondary dementias. Other conditions and medication reactions can also cause dementia. Dementia is diagnosed based on a certain set of criteria. Treatment for dementia is generally focused on the symptoms of the disease.
Dementia: Is It Aging or Alzheimer's?Learn the difference between memory problems that can happen to all of us as we get older and real warning signs of dementia.
The Stages of Dementia: Alzheimer's Disease and Aging BrainsWhat are the symptoms of dementia? What causes dementia? Dementia includes many disorders, such as Lewy Body dementia, Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, and more. Learn the warning signs of dementia.
What Is the Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer's?Dementia is a group of symptoms (syndrome) characterized by a decline in memory, thinking and reasoning. Although dementia is a cluster of symptoms, Alzheimer’s is a slowly progressive disorder of the brain that destroys memory and thinking skills.
What Chromosome Causes Down Syndrome?Get the facts on Down syndrome, a genetic disorder caused by an additional set of chromosomes in a developing fetus. Down syndrome signs and symptoms include distinctive facial features, growth retardation, and decreased mental function and IQ. Blood tests and ultrasound may be used to screen for Down syndrome but chromosome analysis of the fetus is needed to diagnose the condition. People with Down syndrome age more quickly and may develop Alzheimer's disease as young as age 40. Sometimes people are diagnosed with mosaic Down syndrome, in which case they have more than one type of chromosomal makeup.
Early Warning Signs and Stages of DementiaDementia is a decline and or loss of behavior of mental abilities, loss of judgment, language, and reasoning. Early warning signs of dementia include misplacing items, difficulty planning or problem solving, poor work performance, difficulty doing familiar tasks, and withdrawal from social activities.
There are seven stages of dementia that range from stage 1, with no cognitive decline to stage 7, which is severe dementia.
Reasons for Memory Loss and Dementia RiskForget your keys? That might be absentmindedness. Forget what you did this morning? That might be a more serious memory problem. Find out what causes memory loss and what you can do about it.
What Are the 7 Stages of Dementia?What are the 7 stages of dementia and how do you recognize them? Learn the signs of dementia and what to do if you or your loved one is showing symptoms of dementia.
What Are the Seven Stages of Dementia?The progression of dementia (in Alzheimer’s disease) has been divided into seven stages as per the ‘Global Deterioration Scale (GDS)’ of primary degenerative dementia prepared by Dr. Riesberg and his team.
Zelapar (selegiline hydrochloride)Zelapar (selegiline hydrochloride) is an enzyme blocker (MAO inhibitor) that works by slowing the breakdown of certain natural substances in the brain (neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin) used together with other medicines to treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Common side effects of Zelapar include dizziness, abdominal pain, dry mouth, nausea, stomach upset, trouble sleeping (insomnia), headache, weakness, runny or stuffy nose, back pain, constipation, and others.