What is Dementia? Is it treatable? - Seeker's Thoughts

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What is Dementia? Is it treatable?


What is Dementia? Is it Treatable? And How Can We Prevent It?


More than 152 million people may be living with dementia, and currently 50 million people world wide have dementia. The under- developed regions of Sub- Sahara Africa and the middle east are likely to suffer. This article intends to raise awareness about dementia- and what we can do about it?

Dementia is a common condition that affects people of all ages. It causes memory loss and changes in thinking.

Symptoms may start slowly or appear suddenly. You'll see changes in your loved one's ability to communicate, move and eat.

Some types of dementia are treatable, but others cannot be cured. Research is working to find treatments that improve the quality of life for people with dementia.



info: www.aarp.org/health/dementia/info-2021/dementia-forecast.html

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of all cases. It is caused by changes in the brain that result in a loss of memory and thinking skills. Risk factors include age and a family history of the disease.

Other causes of dementia include vascular disorders, infections and other conditions that affect the brain. These diseases can cause symptoms such as short-term memory loss or personality changes.

Dementia can also be caused by abnormalities in your metabolism or endocrine system. Problems with thyroid function, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), too much or too little sodium and calcium, or problems absorbing vitamin B-12 can lead to dementia-like symptoms.

In addition, people who have suffered a severe head injury are 1.5 times more likely to develop dementia than those who have not. This condition is called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Early signs of dementia include memory loss, confusion, and difficulty following storylines. The person may forget where they left their keys, have trouble remembering what comes next in a conversation or struggle to find their way around the house.

Another symptom of dementia is poor judgment or decision-making. They may not recognize a medical problem that needs attention or wear heavy clothing on a hot day. They can also become confused about what numbers and symbols mean.

These early signs of dementia can be treated with drugs or other methods that can help slow the progression of the disease. They include cognitive training, medication, and physical therapy. Caregivers are also advised to get a network of support from family and friends. Being physically active, avoiding smoking and alcohol use, maintaining a healthy weight and preventing head injuries can also reduce the risk of developing dementia.




The symptoms of dementia can be subtle and difficult to detect, especially if they develop slowly over time. The condition can cause many different problems, including memory loss, difficulty thinking, and changes in behavior.

Some of the most common early symptoms of dementia are confusion, apathy, and forgetfulness. They are often associated with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, but can also be caused by other health conditions or age-related decline.

A person with dementia can experience confusion over a number of things, from where they are to who they are talking to or what happened to them in the past. They may also forget how to complete daily activities such as brushing their teeth or taking their medications, or may lose their way when they are traveling.

Another common symptom of early dementia is a loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy. They may become listless or emotionally flat, and may no longer enjoy socializing with friends and family.

Someone with dementia can also develop severe mood swings, from being calm and happy one day to feeling sad or angry the next. This can be very disconcerting for the person with the condition, and it's important to address it as soon as possible.

Changes in movement or balance can also occur with some forms of dementia, especially in people who have fronto-temporal dementia or Lewy body dementia. They can be stiff or trembling and can't move as well as they used to, making it hard for them to perform tasks like walking, eating or speaking.

Some forms of dementia can also be caused by reversible underlying causes such as side effects from medications, increased pressure on the brain, or vitamin deficiency. These can be identified by a doctor, and treatment can be started to slow down or prevent the progression of the disease.




Dementia is a serious condition that requires an accurate diagnosis. Doctors diagnose dementia by looking at a person's medical and family history, physical examination, tests of memory, thinking and other skills, and a review of any medications that might be causing or worsening the symptoms.

Diagnosis of dementia can be difficult for people with Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia because the cause of the symptoms is unknown. Even with the latest diagnostic testing and biomarkers, the disease can still be difficult to identify.

Despite this, early detection is important as it may allow you to take advantage of treatments and prevent the progress of the disease. This will help you to live your life well and to plan for the future with peace of mind.

The first step in getting a diagnosis is to visit your family doctor, who may ask you about your memory problems and any other signs you're seeing. Your doctor will also likely talk to family members and friends to find out more about your symptoms.

Your doctor will then complete a medical history, physical exam and neurological tests that measure balance, reflexes and sensory response. These tests can help doctors determine the underlying cause of your dementia, which may be a health problem or an inherited condition.

You might be referred to a doctor who specializes in nervous system conditions (neurologist). Your doctor will then discuss your diagnosis with you and offer treatment options.

There are many types of medications that can be used to treat the symptoms of dementia. These include cholinesterase inhibitors, which work by boosting levels of a chemical messenger involved in memory and judgment. These medicines are most often used to treat Alzheimer's disease, but they can be prescribed for other types of dementia.




If you suspect your loved one might have dementia, the first thing to do is seek medical advice. Most people with dementia go to their primary care doctor, but they may be referred to a neurologist (a doctor trained in nervous system conditions).

Early diagnosis is important because it helps your loved one receive treatment, learn about the different stages of the disease and plan for future needs. It also allows you and your family to discuss your legal, financial and healthcare plans.

Medicines are not a cure for dementia, but they can slow its progress and improve mental function, mood or behavior. They can also help with the physical symptoms of the disease, such as pain.

Some medicines for dementia are cholinesterase inhibitors, which block the breakdown of a chemical called acetylcholine. These include galantamine, rivastigmine and donepezil.

Keeping the brain active is another way to delay the onset of dementia. This can be done by engaging in mentally stimulating activities, such as reading, puzzles and word games. Having regular social interaction is also helpful.

Dementia is a complex condition, so it’s important that your loved one has a plan for how to manage their daily tasks and keep their quality of life as high as possible. A caregiver can provide emotional support and encouragement, help them to maintain a healthy diet and exercise, encourage them to participate in activities they enjoy and make sure their daily needs are met.

For example, a caregiver can take them for a vision checkup or an appointment with their hearing specialist to get new hearing aids, if they need them. Having these appointments early on can allow your loved one to get the help they need sooner and maintain a higher level of functioning, even with advanced dementia.




Getting older means that you are more susceptible to dementia, but it is possible to reduce your risk. Research shows that certain lifestyle choices can significantly lower your risk of developing dementia and help you stay healthy throughout your life.

Eating a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds has been linked to a lower risk of dementia. It also improves overall health and reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and other conditions.

Limiting alcohol intake is another way to cut your dementia risk. One study showed that cutting your alcohol intake by just a few units per day can significantly lower your dementia risk.

It is important to keep track of how much you drink and set yourself a weekly limit. For most people, this would be around 14 units of alcohol a week, which is equivalent to about a pint of beer or a glass of wine each day.

Maintaining a healthy weight can also lower your dementia risk. Studies have shown that obese people are more likely to develop dementia later in life.

Regular exercise can also help you to reduce your risk of dementia. It can strengthen your muscles, improve your balance and reduce the risk of falling.

Avoiding medications that can make your memory worse is another important part of preventing dementia. These include sleep aids that contain diphenhydramine (Advil PM, Aleve PM) and drugs to treat urinary urgency such as oxybutynin (Ditropan XL).

Social activities are also good for the brain and can reduce your dementia risk. They can stimulate the brain, improve your mood and lift your spirits.

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