Dementia is a syndrome or rather generic term to describe symptoms that follow or accompany various diseases of the brain.
Restrictions of the following neuropsychological or cognitive functions are typical features of dementia:
3. comprehension and speech faculty
4. the ability to write and calculate
(The most common form of dementia)
In the case of Alzheimer’s disease certain proteins accumulate inside or outside of the nerve cells of the brain. The thus affected cells deteriorate. This is why Alzheimer’s disease is called a neurodegenerative disease. The degenerated cells can no longer carry out their usual function and the distribution of neurotransmitters is reduced rapidly. The consequence of this is dementia.
Although this kind of dementia is not curable as yet, the progress of dementia may be slowed down by modern medication and mental training.
Apart from these fairly common forms of dementia there is a large variety of illnesses accompanied by dementia.
In any case, the first signs of dementia should be examined closely at an early stage to gain a secured diagnosis and act accordingly.
(Second most common form of dementia)
Vascular dementia is caused by a vascular disease of the brain. Microangiopathies (damages to the small vessels) or macroangiopathies (damages to the large vessels) for example by arteriosclerosis may lead to reduced local blood flow in certain parts of the brain.
The thus affected nerve cells deteriorate and can no longer exercise their task of distributing neurotransmitters. The consequence is dementia.Since this process is locally restricted, it is important to examine the exact nature of dementia in order to start effective therapy at an early stage.