Dementia is a group of brain disorders that make it difficult for people to remember, think, make decisions, or control their emotions. It can be caused by illnesses or injuries and may range from mild to severe. Some people may also experience changes in personality as a result of these disorders. Some types of dementia are progressive, meaning they get worse over time. Some are treatable or reversible, while others are considered to be irreversible.
There are different types of dementia, and Alzheimer's disease is one of them. It is a disease that affects the part of the brain that is responsible for learning and memory. As the disease progresses, the person affected may have problems with these areas of their lives.
Dementia affects people aged 85 and over but it is important to remember that dementia isn’t a normal part of aging. A lot of seniors aged 90 and up function without any signs of dementia. Age-related memory decline may manifest as forgetting the names of acquaintances, forgetting a certain word but remembering it later, misplacing objects from time to time, and not remembering events that happened most recently. Habits, knowledge, or experiences that have been built over time such as language and old memories would stay intact as a person ages.
Signs and Symptoms of Dementia
Dementia is a group of brain disorders but is used as a general term so the symptoms may vary from person to person here are problems that are commonly found in people with dementia:
Reasoning, Problem-Solving, and Judgment
Difficulty understanding, speaking, reading and writing, or expressing thoughts
Signs of dementia may include
Taking a longer time to complete daily tasks
Memory loss, confusion, and poor judgment
Trouble with handling finances responsibly
Getting lost in familiar places
Using unusual words when referring to familiar objects
Apathetic toward other people’s feelings
Loss of interest in daily activities or events
Problems with balance and mobility
Seniors with intellectual and developmental disabilities can develop dementia as they age, making it difficult to recognize the signs.
What can Cause Dementia?
Changes in specific brain regions that lead to the malfunction of neurons (nerve cells) and their connections result in dementia. Researchers are looking into why some people experience these changes but not others as they have linked changes in the brain to specific forms of dementia. Rare genetic variants that cause dementia have been found in a small number of people. A few factors can cause dementia such as:
Excessive alcohol consumption
Liver, thyroid, and kidney problems
Mental health issues such as depression, stress, or anxiety
Deficiencies in vitamin B12 and vitamin D
What are the Types of Dementia?
Through a progressive and irreversible loss of neurons and brain function, various neurodegenerative diseases and factors play a role in the emergence of dementia. There is currently no treatment for dementia of any kind. There are various types of dementia, a few include:
The most typical form of dementia is Alzheimer's disease. According to the Alzheimer's Association, this disease is to blame for between 60 and 80 percent of dementia cases. Memory loss, disregard for personal hygiene, changes in mood and personality, disorientation, and other symptoms are some of the early warning signs of Alzheimer's disease. Although depression can be an early sign of Alzheimer's disease, it must be treated separately as a disorder because it is not a component of the disease.
Lewy Body Dementia
Protein buildup in nerve cells results in Lewy body dementia, also known as Lewy body dementia. Memory loss and confusion result from this disruption of chemical signals in the brain. Additional to experiencing visual hallucinations, individuals with this form of dementia also have difficulty falling asleep at night or waking up unexpectedly in the middle of the day. Additionally, they might pass out, get lost, or become confused.
Vascular dementia ranks as the second most frequent type of dementia. It results from inadequate blood supply to the brain. As you get older, vascular dementia may develop and be linked to other conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and atherosclerotic disease. Vascular dementia is commonly caused by stroke.
Living with dementia is difficult, especially as people living with the disease age. Being knowledgeable and understanding with lots of patience and compassion will go a long way when caring for seniors with dementia.
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