A generic term for cognitive decline that is profound enough to impede daily existence, dementia refers to memory, language, problem-solving, and other cognitive ability loss. The most frequent cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease.
When thinking, memory, and reasoning skills are lost to the point where they interfere with day-to-day tasks, this condition is known as dementia. Some dementia patients have emotional instability and personality changes. The intensity of dementia varies from the mildest stage, when it is just starting to interfere with a person’s ability to function, to the most severe level, when the individual must fully rely on others for fundamental daily activities.
As people age, dementia becomes more prevalent (approximately one-third of all adults over the age of 85 may have some kind of dementia), yet it is not a typical aspect of aging. Many people reach their 90s and beyond without displaying any dementia symptoms.
Alzheimer’s disease is one of several different types of dementia. The type of a person’s symptoms can change.
What are the Symptoms of Dementia?
Dementia symptoms can vary widely. Several issues include:
- Temporary memory
- Tracking down a phone or bag
- Settling bills
- Organizing and cooking meals
- Keeping engagements in mind
- Traveling outside of the area
Since many diseases grow over time, dementia’s early symptoms gradually worsen as time goes on. Don’t dismiss memory issues or other changes in thinking abilities if you or someone you know is going through them. Visit a doctor right away to ascertain the cause. The right treatment of dementia can be found after professional evaluation. A person can benefit the most from therapies that are currently available and have the option to participate in clinical trials or research if they receive an early diagnosis of dementia, even if symptoms point to the condition. It also gives you time to make plans.
What are the Causes of Dementia?
There can be so many different causes of dementia if you want to know what is dementia. Based on the kinds of possible cognitive deficits, the causes of dementia and the other types can vary. While studies have revealed some brain abnormalities to be related to specific types of dementia, the root reasons are frequently unclear. A tiny percentage of persons may develop dementia as a result of uncommon genetic abnormalities.
Generally speaking, maintaining a balanced lifestyle may help lower risk factors that have been linked to certain diseases, even if there is no known preventative measure.
What are the Different Types of Dementia?
Dementia is a disease that develops as a result of numerous conditions and circumstances. A progressive and permanent loss of neurons and brain function is the result of neurodegenerative illnesses. These illnesses are currently incurable.
The following are the types of dementia:
- The most typical dementia prognosis in older persons is Alzheimer’s It is brought on by alterations in the cortex, such as aberrant protein accumulations called amyloid plaques and tau tangles.
- A rare type of dementia called frontotemporal dementia usually affects adults under the age of 60. Atypical levels or types of the proteins tau and TDP-43 are linked to it.
- Lewy cells, an aberrant buildup of the protein alpha-synuclein, are the source of Lewy body dementia.
- A type of dementia known as vascular dementia is brought on by illnesses that harm the brain’s blood vessels or obstruct the circulation of blood and oxygen to the brain.
- Dementia that combines two or more different forms is called mixed dementia. For instance, experts have discovered that many persons had a mixture of brain abnormalities linked to various kinds of dementia through postmortem investigations examining adults who had dementia.
- The underlying condition mechanisms that lead to various forms of dementia are being studied by scientists to learn how they develop and interact. Additionally, they keep researching the various diseases and conditions that cause dementia. For instance, researchers have identified another type of dementia termed as LATE based on postmortem investigations.
Risk Factors of Dementia
Your risk of developing dementia may be increased by particular physical and dietary factors, such as:
- Age-related dementia in your household
- Health conditions such as diabetes, down syndrome, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and sleep apnea
- Smoking, binge drinking, eating poorly, and not exercising
- Brain damage
- A brain infection (for example, meningitis and syphilis)
What are the different stages of Dementia?
Dementia often progresses through these phases. However, it might differ according to the part of the brain that is afflicted.
- Not hampered – A person in this stage won’t exhibit any symptoms, although tests could find a problem.
- Slight mild decline – Your loved one will remain autonomous, though you could observe subtle behavioral changes.
- Mild decline – More shifts in their logic and way of thinking will become apparent. They could struggle with creating plans and frequently speak in the same way. They could also struggle to recall recent occurrences.
- Moderate decline – They’ll struggle harder to recollect previous happenings and make plans. They could struggle with managing finances and travel.
- Decrease that is not too bad – They might not be able to recall their phone number or the names of their grandchildren. They can be uncertain of the time or the day of the week. They will now require assistance with some fundamental daily tasks, like choosing what to dress.
- Severe decline – They’ll start to lose track of their spouse’s name. Both dining and using the restroom will require assistance. Additionally, their emotions and demeanor may have changed.
- Extremely Severe decline – They are unable to express their ideas verbally. They are unable to walk and will be in bed for the majority of the day.
Also, Read – Presbycusis – Age-Related Hearing Loss!!
How can you Identify Dementia?
Dementia diagnosis might be challenging to confirm. Dementia can be brought on by or progress to other illnesses and disorders. Many of its symptoms are also present in numerous other disorders.
Your medical professional will:
- Inquire about the development of your symptoms.
- Inquire about your medical background.
- Examine the drugs you are taking now.
- Find out if dementia and other diseases run in your family.
Additionally, they have the option to request testing, such as laboratory, imaging, and neuropsychological ones (thinking tests).
Dementia can be diagnosed with help from neurologists and geriatricians.
- In-lab examinations – Laboratory testing rules out other illnesses and ailments, such as infection, inflammation, underactive thyroid, and vitamin deficiencies, as the cause of dementia (especially B12). When necessary, medical professionals may perform tests of the cerebrospinal fluid to assess autoimmune disorders and neurodegenerative illnesses.
- Imaging scans – The following brain scans exams could be prescribed by your doctor:
- Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – A computer and X-rays are used in CT to produce precise pictures of your brain. A computer, radio waves and magnets are used in MRI to provide precise scans of your brain. These scanning examinations search for signs of stroke, hemorrhage, tumors, and fluid on the brain.
- FDG-PET imaging – The patterns of how a certain type of glucose is consumed by brain tissue allow for the determination of cognitive ability and mental decline using this specialized sort of brain scan, which is occasionally required for certain diseases.
- Neurocognitive testing – Your healthcare professional will assess your mental faculties using written and automated exams during neurocognitive testing, including:
- Solving issues
- Psychiatric assessment
An expert in mental health may look for indications of depression, mood swings, or other mental health conditions that could result in memory loss.
How to Prevent Dementia?
Even though dementia cannot be prevented, maintaining a healthy lifestyle may lessen the risk factors for some forms of dementia.
Your brain can be kept supplied with the nutrition and oxygen it requires to operate at its maximum level by managing capillaries free of cholesterol accumulation, normal blood pressure, balanced glucose levels, sustaining a moderate weight, in short, being as healthy as you can.
Specifically healthy actions you can perform are as follows:
- Give up smoking – Consider adopting a Mediterranean diet, which includes whole grains, vegetables, fruits, fish, shellfish, nuts, legumes, olive oil, and little to no red meat.
- Workout – Get moving for at least 30 minutes most days of the week.
- Get your mind working – Play word-based games, solve riddles, and engage in other cognitively demanding pursuits. These pursuits might postpone the onset of dementia.
- Talk about current events – Engage your head, heart, and soul by interacting with others and chatting about current events.
Risk Factors of Dementia
- Ethnicity – If you’re a Black person, you have twice the risk as a white person for developing dementia. If you’re a Hispanic person, you’re 1.5 times more likely than a white person to develop dementia.
- Brain damage – You are more likely to get dementia if you’ve experienced major brain damage.
How Soon Should I visit the Doctor about Dementia?
If you or your loved ones notice any of the following changes, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider:
- The memory
- The cognitive abilities
- The capacity to carry out routine chores
- The actions
- The character
Now you know what is dementia and everything related to it. Once you know that you have dementia, you can consult a healthcare expert from Tri-county Hearing Services in Florida so that you can plan a meaningful life with your loved ones. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about it and peacefully plan your next steps in the treatment of dementia.