Dementia – Symptoms, Stages, Diagnosis & Treatment
Among various kinds of neurological disorders, dementia is considered a progressive neurocognitive condition. Dementia can be defined as a disease with many diverse symptoms that include impaired judgment, severe memory loss, and difficulty in conducting normal day-to-day activities. All these conditions are caused due to deep injury to the brain or loss of neurons (brain cells).
Prominent Signs of Dementia
• Loss of memory
• Communication problems (having difficulty in finding words)
• Focus issues
• Poor judgment
• Struggling to complete everyday tasks
• Having difficulty in understanding or processing visual information
• Dementia develops at a later age and mainly affects elderly people. Around 8 percent of people above 65 years of age are known to suffer from one or two symptoms of dementia. And around half of the elderly people above the age of 85 years have dementia.
Causes & Types of Dementia
It is caused due to severe damage to the nerve cells or loss of the nerve cells and their disconnection to the brain. Dementia symptoms also depend on the specific area of the brain which has been adversely affected. Different people experience different symptoms of dementia.
Types of Dementia
Lewy body dementia, frontal-temporal dementia, vascular dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injury or TBI and creutzfeldt-jakob disease.
The stages of progressive dementia include the following:
• Stage one – Patient has no issues and no impairment
• Stage two – Patient starts having some functional issues but still can do his/her work independently
• Stage three – There are some noticeable impairment and patient faces mild difficulties in performing daily activities
• Stage four – The patient needs the help of a family member or caregiver to carry out his/her day-to-day activities
• Stage five – The patient suffers from moderate to severe dementia symptoms or impairment
• Stage six – The patient exhibits serious signs of dementia and is unable to function properly without help from others.
• Stage Seven – There is severe or grave impairment. The patient’s physical and mental functions start to fail one by one.
Dementia Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Treatment Sources
Dementia risk factors include family history, advancing age, down syndrome, heavy drinking, high blood pressure, diabetes, heavy smoking, arteries hardening, sleep apnea, nutritional deficiencies, and high cholesterol.
Diagnosis can be done through a series of physical and mental evaluations. Doctors may also suggest blood tests and other assessments. The diagnosis period can be very long depending on the symptoms of the patients.
Treatment for Dementia can be linked to providing supportive care. Positive environmental changes, disciplined schedule, physical and mental exercises, and prescription medications can help in making some progress with the patients.
Several dementia patients are offered home care so that they remain at home. Family members, nurses or caregivers can lend a hand to provide crucial support for such patients. Patients are given prescription drugs that have been approved by neurologists in dubai and the FDA. The prognosis of dementia patients differs from person to person. While some patients progress rapidly, others may take ages to progress.
Prevention Measures that can be Adopted
While there is no sure way to prevent dementia, you can take the following steps that may help:
• Keeping your brain and mind active by doing stimulating activities like reading, playing word games, and trying to memorize things.
• Being physically active and making efforts at social interactions.
• Studies have indicated that indulging in the bad habit of smoking during your old age can increase your risk of developing dementia, so quitting the habit at an earlier age is advisable.
• Research also suggests that people with nutrient and vitamin deficiencies are more likely to suffer from dementia. So make sure to have plenty of nutritional foods and intake your daily • dose of vitamin D.
• Checking for cardiovascular disorders such as high cholesterol, high body mass index, and high blood pressure can help prevent the onset of dementia
• Getting quality sleep by practicing regular sleep habits and consulting the doctor for sleep apnea issues can also reduce the risk of getting dementia.