All You Need To Know About Dementia

A positive dementia diagnosis is a scary experience. This medical condition is associated with progressive loss of memory and communication abilities. Preventive and management care for any medical condition requires one to have the correct information. Thus, understanding the symptoms, stages, causes, and approaches to dementia care is crucial. 

What is Dementia?

Contrary to public opinion, dementia is not a single disease. Instead, dementia is a term used to describe a wide range of particular medical conditions. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer's disease. Other disorders may include Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and Picks' disease. These disorders result from abnormal brain changes that affect cognitive abilities like thinking, memory, and communication. Therefore, dementia affects the ability of patients to function independently. 

The following are the common symptoms of dementia: 

  • Communication challenges like forgetting words
  • Disorientation and getting lost
  • Misplacing and forgetting the location of items
  • Asking the same question repeatedly due to memory loss
  • Sudden mood changes
  • Task completion problems

Stages of Dementia 

There are four main stages of dementia. In the mild cognitive impairment stage, patients tend to forget things. Then they progress to mild dementia, characterized by cognitive impairments leading to disorientation, confusion, and difficulties in task completion. The third stage, known as moderate dementia, involves the patient having challenges with daily life. This change necessitates the need for help. Lastly, severe dementia sets in with the inability to communicate, sit, or hold anything. 

Causes of Dementia

There is no definitive cause of dementia. However, the condition results from several triggers. Largely, dementia results from rapid or progressive brain cell death. However, there is a debate whether the death of brain cells causes dementia or the opposite. More so, dementia can result from stroke, brain tumors, HIV infection, and head injuries. 

Dementia Care 

There is no treatment for dementia since it is not possible to reverse brain cell death. Thus, healthcare management for dementia focuses on treating the symptoms to halt and prevent further damage of brain tissue. 

Medical drugs: Medication is one method of managing dementia symptoms. Approved drugs include cholinesterase inhibitors. These drugs help manage behavior elements in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. 

Brain training: This approach improves the quality of life for dementia patients. Typically, the goal is to deal with forgetfulness by enhancing cognitive functioning. The healthcare providers and caregivers use mnemonics and other computerized devices to boost memory. 

Preventive care: In this case, dementia prevention involves managing associated risk factors. For instance, smoking and alcohol increase the risk levels for dementia. Besides, medical conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and high cholesterol and amino acids can lead to dementia. Thus, managing these dementia predictors acts as preventive care. 

Consider consulting a doctor if you experience or observe any of the highlighted memory loss symptoms. Early diagnosis and management can make a difference in dementia care.