Dementia:Symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention

Dementia|Old age

Dementia is a syndrome in which there is a decline in memory, thinking and social abilities.It can sometimes be severe enough that it can interfere with daily life of a person.Dementia is common in old age but it is not a part of normal ageing.
How common is the condition?
Currently there are around 50 million people living with dementia with 10 million new cases every year.Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.
Signs and symptoms of dementia

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty communicating
  • Difficulty with reasoning or problem solving
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations

Types of dementias

  • Alzheimer’s disease – Due to gene mutations.
  • Vascular dementia – Damage to blood vessels supplying the brain.
  • Lewy body dementia – Clumps of proteins called Lewy body in brain.
  • Fronto-temporal dementia- Breakdown of nerve cells in frontal and temporal regions of the brain.

Risk factors for dementia

  • Age – more than 65 years
  • Family history of dementia
  • High blood pressure,high cholestrol
  • Smoking
  • Repeated head injuries

Complications of dementia

  • Poor nutrition-due to difficulty in chewing and swallowing
  • Pneumonia – Due to increased risk of choking
  • Personal safety problems with driving and living alone.

Treatment

  • There is no effective treatment for dementia.Anti dementia medicines have little efficacy.

Prevention
  • Engaging in mentally stimulating activities like reading, solving puzzles, playing word games.
  • Physical activity and social interaction
  • Quit smoking
  • Get enough Vitamin D- through supplements
  • Taking Mediterrenean diet-rich in fruits,vegetables and whole grains.
  • Getting good quality sleep.

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