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Saturday, June 16, 2018

what is Dementia

One general term that is used to indicate a decline in mental ability that is severe enough to interfere with daily life is Dementia. One form of dementia is memory loss. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer's . Dementia is not a life ending condition but it can be a life limiting one. Individuals with dementia can live with the symptoms and condition for many years.

In order for a condition to be labeled dementia at least two of the following symptoms must be present:

  • issues with memory 
  • problems with communication and language
  • inability to focus and pay attention
  • struggles with reasoning and judgement
  • issues with visual perception
Individuals with dementia may have issues with short term memories, losing their purse or wallet, paying bills, planning and preparing meals, remembering appointments or traveling out of the neighborhood.

Dementia symptoms are progressive. They start out slow and gradually worsen. Memory issues should not be ignored. A doctor should be seen so that a cause can be determined. A treatable condition may be able to be found. Early diagnosis of dementia allows a person to get the most benefits from treatments and provide opportunities to enter trials or studies to help their selves and others. 

Dementia is caused by damage to brain cells. Brain cells then struggle to communicate with each other. Thinking, behavior and feelings can be affected in the case that brain cells can not communicate. Brain cells are housed in regions each with their own job. Memory, judgement, and movement are all areas of expertise that can have cells damage making them unable to carry out functions. 

Most changes in the brain cause dementia and are permanent, worsening over time, issues that can cause memory problems that can improve with treatment include:

  • Depression
  • Medication side effects
  • Excess use of alcohol
  • Thyroid problems
  • Vitamin deficiencies

No test can determine if someone has dementia. Doctor's diagnose Alzheimer's and other types of dementia based on medical history.

There is no one test to determine if someone has dementia. Doctors diagnose Alzheimer's and other types of dementia based on a careful medical history, a physical examination, laboratory tests, and the characteristic changes in thinking, day-to-day function and behavior associated with each type. Doctors can determine that a person has dementia with a high level of certainty. But it's harder to determine the exact type of dementia because the symptoms and brain changes of different dementias can overlap. In some cases, a doctor may diagnose "dementia" and not specify a type. If this occurs it may be necessary to see a specialist such as a neurologist or gero-psychologist.

I hope the information I have provided can help you understand more about what dementia is and what it is not

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