Dementia symptoms and warning indicators
A generic term for cognitive decline that is severe enough to impede with daily life, dementia refers to memory, language, problem-solving, and other cognitive ability loss. The most frequent cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease.
Describe dementia. Diagnoses, symptoms, and causes. Memory loss and other abilities are together referred to as having dementia. Like heart disease, dementia is an umbrella term that refers to a variety of distinct medical diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. Abnormal brain alterations are the root cause of the disorders included under the umbrella term “dementia.” These alterations cause a loss in cognitive abilities—also known as thinking skills—that is severe enough to affect daily functioning and independence. They also have an impact on relationships, feelings, and behaviour.
60 to 80% of instances are caused by Alzheimer’s disease. The second most frequent form of dementia is vascular dementia, which develops as a result of microscopic bleeding and blood artery obstruction in the brain. Mixed dementia is characterized by the simultaneous presence of different forms of dementia’s brain abnormalities. Numerous other illnesses, some of which are treatable, such as thyroid issues and vitamin shortages, can also induce dementia-like symptoms.
The false notion that substantial mental deterioration is a normal aspect of aging is reflected in the frequent use of the terms “senility” or “senile dementia” to describe dementia.
Dementia symptoms and warning indicators
- Short-term memory.
- Forget keeping track of a purse or wallet.
- Forgot to pay the bills.
- Difficulty in Planning and preparing meals.
- Remembering appointments is very difficult.
- Forgetting the path and travelling out of the neighbourhood.
Since many diseases progress 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.
A diagnosable ailment could be found after professional evaluation.
Even if a person has symptoms of dementia, early diagnosis enables them to benefit the most from existing treatments and gives them the chance to participate in clinical trials or studies.
Damage to brain cells is what leads to dementia. The interfering damage prevents brain cells from communicating with one another. Thinking, behavior, and feelings might be impacted when brain cells are unable to communicate correctly.
The brain is divided into numerous unique areas, each of which performs a different function (for example, memory, judgment and movement). Damaged cells prevent a certain region from performing its activities normally.
There are certain forms of brain cell damage linked to specific regions of the brain and various types of dementia. For instance, large quantities of specific proteins within and outside of brain cells contribute to Alzheimer’s disease by making it difficult for brain cells to maintain their health and interact with one another. The hippocampus is a part of the brain that controls memory and learning, and it is frequently this area of the brain that experiences damage first. Because of this, memory loss is frequently one of the first signs of Alzheimer’s.
When a condition is treated or addressed, thinking and memory issues brought on by the following conditions may become better, even though the majority of changes in the brain that cause dementia are irreversible and get worse with time:
- Adverse effects of medication.
- Excessive alcohol use
- Thyroid issues.
- Deficits in vitamins.
- Treatment and care for dementia
Dementia treatment is based on the underlying reason. Acuranumab (AduhelmTM) is the first therapy to show that removing amyloid, one of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, from the brain is reasonably likely to slow cognitive and functional decline in people with early Alzheimer’s. There is currently no cure for most progressive dementias, including Alzheimer’s disease. Others can momentarily lessen the deterioration of dementia symptoms and enhance the standard of living for people with Alzheimer’s and those who care for them. The same pharmaceuticals that are occasionally used to aid with the symptoms of other types of dementias include those that are used to treat Alzheimer’s. Some dementia symptoms can also be reduced by non-drug treatments.
Symptoms and signs
Depending on the underlying reasons, coexisting medical disorders, and the person’s cognitive function before to getting ill, dementia has a different impact on each individual. There are three phases to understanding the dementia-related signs and symptoms.
Early stage: Because dementia develops gradually, the early stage is frequently disregarded. Typical signs might include:
- Losing Track Of The Time
- Becoming Lost In Familiar Places.
Middle stage: As dementia advances to the middle stage, its signs and symptoms may include:
- Becoming Forgetful Of Recent Events And People’s Names
- Becoming Confused While At Home
- Having Increasing Difficulty With Communication
- Needing Help With Personal Care
- Experiencing Behaviour Changes, Including Wandering And Repeated Questioning
Late stage: Dementia’s late stage is characterized by almost complete reliance and inactivity. Physical symptoms and indicators of memory problems, which are serious and can include the following:
- Becoming unaware of the time and place
- Having difficulty recognizing relatives and friends
- Having an increasing need for assisted self-care
- Having difficulty walking
- Experiencing behaviour changes that may escalate and include aggression.
Medications and care
Dementia cannot currently be cured by any medication. Although many new treatments are being researched in various phases of clinical trials, the anti-dementia medications and disease-modifying therapies developed to date have limited efficacy and are mostly labeled for Alzheimer’s disease.
There is also a lot that can be done to help and enhance the lives of those who have dementia as well as the carers and families who care for them. The following are the main aims of dementia care:
- Early diagnosis in order to promote early and optimal management
- Optimizing physical health, cognition, activity and well-being
- Identifying and treating accompanying physical illness
- Understanding and managing behaviour changes
- Providing information and long-term support to carers.
Key Points :
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A review article by
(Clinical Research Director @ IEEARC Tech)