What Is Dementia: Symptoms, Causes, Types and Treatment

Dementia

Do you tend to forget what you have learned recently? Do you struggle to keep track of finances or pay bills on time? Do you struggle to recollect words, dates, or events? Then it is likely that you may be suffering from dementia.

Forgetfulness, transient confusion, or having trouble remembering a call or word can be a normal part of life. But when cognitive issues or unusual behaviors begin to impair your daily activities, such as working, preparing meals, or managing finances; then consulting a doctor may be necessary as these can be signs of dementia.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a medical syndrome characterized by cognitive impairment, which represents a decline from the preceding degree of cognitive functioning, and is related to impairment in functional competencies and, in lots of cases, behavioral and psychiatric disturbances. Several formal definitions exist, along with that of the ICD-10:

‘A syndrome due to disease of the brain, usually of a chronic or progressive nature, in which there is a disturbance of multiple higher cortical functions, including memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculation, learning capability, language, and judgment. Consciousness is not impaired. Impairments of cognitive function are commonly accompanied, occasionally preceded, by deterioration in emotional control, social behavior, or motivation. The syndrome occurs in Alzheimer’s disease, in cerebrovascular disease, and in other conditions primarily or secondarily affecting the brain’.

Dementia is one of the major reasons for disability and dependency among older people worldwide. While it may be overwhelming, it can adversely affect the lives of the sufferers and their caregivers and families. Unfortunately, there is a lack of knowledge and information about dementia, resulting in stigmatization and limitations to prognosis and care. The effect of dementia on carers, the circle of relatives, and society at large may be physical, psychological, social, and economic.

Dementia can have variable cognitive decline from moderate to outstanding. More challenging is its distinction from extra subtle patterns of cognitive impairment which fall short of the standard definitions of dementia but which may additionally constitute a ‘pre-clinical dementia state.

Symptoms of Dementia

Dementia is not a disease itself, however, it is a substitute for a collection of signs. The signs and symptoms of this condition vary depending on the cause, and the most common signs and symptoms include:

  • Memory loss
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Finding it hard to perform familiar daily tasks
  • Struggling to communicate properly or discover the right word
  • Being burdened about time and place
  • Changes in attitude
  • Personality changes
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Inappropriate behaviour
  • Paranoia
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations

Causes of Dementia 

Dementia is prompted by damage to brain cells. This damage interferes with the potential of cells in the brain to communicate with each other. When brain cells can not communicate normally, thinking, behavior, and feelings can be affected.

Depending on the vicinity of the brain that’s affected by the effect, dementia can affect humans in different ways and cause distinct symptoms. Some varieties of stressful brain injury – mainly if repetitive, such as those received by athletes – had been related to dementia appearing later in life.

Dementia can also be brought about by:

  • HIV infection – How the virus damages brain cells aren’t certain, but it’s far recognised to occur.
  • Degenerative neurological diseases – These include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and some kinds of more than one sclerosis. These diseases worsen over time.
  • Vascular disorders – These are disorders that have an effect on the blood circulation to your mind.
  • Long-time alcohol or drug use
  • Certain kinds of hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid inside the brain.

Read: 22 Tips to Keep Your brain Sharp and Young At Any Age. 

Pages: 1 2 3
nv-author-image

Kylie Clark

A kind psychologist with knowledge about therapeutic interventions (REBT & CBT). Experienced in taking one - one counselling sessions.View Author posts