Dementia, A Health Issue - Dream Health

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Sunday 9 February 2014

Dementia, A Health Issue

As we progress and advance in age, we begin to get older and many functions of our body begin to slow down. We tend to get forgetful as we age and get older and this could be the first signs of dementia which need to be checked and well treated.

Dementia is a non specific syndrome affecting areas of the brain functions like the memory, problem solving, attention, and language and unlike Alzheimer is not considered as a disease. When a person is affected with dementia, the higher mental functions are involved at the initial stage and later on, the person may tend to forget the day of the week or month or year.

He may also not know his bearing, or where he is and may find difficulty in recognizing people around him. Though dementia is common among people of advanced age, it can also affect people of any age. Some of the symptoms of dementia are memory loss wherein the patient may tend to forget the way back home when out, or may forget the name and place and find it hard to recall what may have occurred earlier during the day.

Besides memory loss, moodiness may also be another cause where the patient may get moody as parts of the brain controlling emotions tend to get damaged. Sometimes mood may also be related to anxiety and fear where the person may be frightened about certain issues. The person may also face difficulties in communicating and may find it hard to talk, read or write.

The causes of Dementia is Alzheimer which is the most common cause where the damaged tissue builds in the brain forming deposit known as plaques and tangles which cause the cells in the brain to deteriorate. Alzheimer poses problems with memory and thinking and learning new things or to recall recent events appointments or phone messages tends to get harder. It affects the chemicals in the brain which transmits messages from one cell to another namely acetylcholine which comes gradually and slowly developing over the years.

As the dementia progresses, the person’s ability to perform the daily functions reduces and eventually may not be fit to take care of himself or herself. Stroke is another cause related vascular problem connected to veins and arteries. Since the brain is in need of a good supply of oxygen rich blood, if this supply may be undermined, the brain cells may tend to die leading to vascular dementia.

The symptoms may appear gradually or suddenly and a major stroke may cause symptoms to show up suddenly. Fronto temporal dementia is when the front part of the brain gets damaged and the person’s behavior and personality get affected first and later on there is a change in his memory.

Dementia with lewy bodies is when spherical growth develops inside the nerve cells or brain cells, which form part of our nervous system; damage the brain tissue thus affecting the patient’s memory, his concentration and the ability to speak. At times dementia with lewy bodies can also be mistaken for Parkinson disease since the symptom seems familiar. In majority of the cases, dementia is incurable but the progress can be slowed down with treatment from health professionals.

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