Dementia

Dementia is a word for a group of symptoms caused by disorders that affect the brain. It is not a specific disease. Dementia makes the brain hard for a person to remember, learn and communicate.

Sign and symptoms of dementia can be classified as either reversible or irreversible depending upon the etiology of the disease. Many different diseases can cause dementia, including alzheimer’s disease and stroke.

People with dementia may not be able to think well enough to do normal activities, such as getting dressed or eating.

Because some causes of dementia can be cured or partially treated, it is very important that your doctor is thorough when making the diagnosis, so as not to miss potentially treatable conditions.

Memory loss is a common symptom of dementia. However, memory loss by itself does not mean you have dementia. Untreated infectious and metabolic disease and substance abuse also can lead to dementia. Drugs are available to treat some of these diseases.

Dementia is considered a late-life disease because it tends to develop mostly in elderly people. People with dementia also experience declines in any or all areas of intellectual functioning, for example, use of language and numbers; awareness of what is going on around him.
This condition is linked to abnormal protein structures in certain areas of the brain.

Without careful assessment, delirium can easily be confused with dementia and a number of other psychiatric disorders because many of the signs and symptoms are also present in dementia.

Treatable causes of dementia  include normal pressure hydrocephalus, brain tumors, and dementia due to metabolic causes, thyroid conditions, low vitamin B12 levels, and infections. The goal of treatment is to control the symptoms of dementia. Treatment depends on the specific condition causing the dementia. Some people may need to stay in the hospital for a short time.

Causes of Dementia

The common causes and risk factor’s of Dementia:

  • Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Vascular Dementia (loss of brain function due to a series of small strokes).
  • Brain tumor.
  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Vitamin deficiencies: B12, folic acid, B1 (thiamine).
  • Parkinson’s disease.

Symptoms of Dementia

Some sign and symptom related to Dementia are as follows:

  • Progressive memory loss.
  • Confusion.
  • Loss of abstract thinking.
  • Poor enunciation.
  • Depression.
  • Inability to maintain employment.
  • Lack of spontaneity.

Treatment of Dementia

  • Treatment depends on the specific condition causing the dementia. Some people may need to stay in the hospital for a short time.
  • Stopping or changing medications that make confusion worse may improve brain function. Medicines that contribute to confusion include anticholinergics, analgesics, cimetidine, and lidocaine.
  • Stimulant drugs such as  methylphenidate (used to treat attention deficit disorders in children) may be used to treat depression in people with dementia.
  • Mood stabilizers such as fluoxetine, imipramine, or Celexa.