What is Dementia?
Dementia is a general term for loss of memory and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere your daily life. It is a progressive disease that destroys memory and other important mental function. Also, it causes the problem with thinking, memory, and reasoning.
This happens when parts of the brain used for learning, memory, decision-making, language are damaged or diseased.It is the name for a group of symptoms caused by a disorder that affects the brain. It is not a particular disease and is most common in elderly especially age 65 or above. But it is certainly not a normal part of ageing as the brain cells die quicker than normal.
Signs and Symptoms
Memory loss: asking same questions repeatedly, wandering and getting lost.
A problem in communication: forgetting words or using wrong ones.
Trouble in abstract thinking: difficulties in thinking and making up things.
Misplacing things: forgetting the location of everyday items
Mood changes: a sudden change in mood swings and behavioural changes.
Difficulties in completing up tasks
Problems related to reflexive action movements: inability to combine muscular movements.
Difficulty in completing familiar task
Loss of initiative
What causes dementia?
Dementia can cause damage to brain cells and neurogenerative disease ( incurable and weakening conditions that result in progressive degeneration or death of nerve cells).
However, it is not known that brain cell damage is caused by dementia or dementia causes brain cell damage.
The brain has distinct regions, and each performs different functions. When cells in particular area are damaged, it cannot carry out its functions normally. Various types of dementia are associated with specific types of brain cell damage in certain areas of the brain.
Types of dementia
Alzheimer’s disease: It is the most common type of dementia. It’s a progressive disease that destroys memory and other important mental functioning. In this abnormal proteins cause brain cells to die. There is no cure or treatment that stops or slows down its progression. But there are drug treatments that may temporarily improve it.
Vascular dementia: Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia. Decreased blood flow in the brain cells is the main cause of it. This damages and eventually kills the cells and causes a problem with thinking and planning. This is usually due to shrinking of the minute blood vessels deep inside the brain.
Mixed dementia: In this type, the abnormalities are linked to more than one cause of dementia that occurs simultaneously in the brain cells. Various studies suggest that mixed dementia is more common than formerly thought.
Dementia with Lewy bodies: This gets its name from the tiny spherical structure that develops inside nerve cell which is involved in thinking memory and movement. Not to mention its symptoms often include fluctuating alertness, hallucination, and the problem with movement.
Parkinson’s disease: As Parkinson’s disease progresses, it often results in conditions similar to dementia with Lewy bodies or Alzheimer’s. It is considered as a disorder of movement which is related to brain changes which gradually spread. Additionally, these changes often begin to affect psychological functioning, including remember and the ability to pay attention, make sound judgements and plan the steps needed for any particular task.
Well, right now there is no cure for dementia. Diagnosis is made on the basis of symptoms. Only a few of the symptoms are reversible. They may improve with treatment, but many of diseases that cause this aren’t curable.
A doctor prescribes the medicines. But they cannot repair brain damage or cure it, they can improve symptoms and slow it down.
Brain exercises may also help to recover such cognitive functioning and deal in with forgetfulness in the early stages.
We must give due attention to such disorders at the right time. We need to start educating and initiate talking about dementia so that we can make more people aware of it before it’s too late. Our unawareness contributes to their suffering so let’s just not make them suffer then they already are. Because it’s not their fault and it can happen to anyone.