WHAT IS DEMENTIA?
Dementia is a collective of progressive neurological diseases that impact memory, cognitive function, logic and motor functions. Vitamin deficiencies and thyroid disease are reversible conditions that cause symptoms of dementia but do not necessarily imply the presence of the disease. Progressive problems with memory, difficulty concentrating and poor thinking skills cannot be ignored and suggests urgent medical treatment or diagnosis.
Dementia is a term used to describe a cluster of symptoms, including:
Difficulty doing familiar tasks
A decline in intellectual functioning
Dementia is not the name of an actual disease
Dementia is not a part of normal ageing
D = Delirium
E= Emotions (depression) & Endocrine Disease
M= Metabolic Disturbances
E= Eye & Ear Impairments
N= Nutritional Disorders
T= Tumours, Toxicity, Trauma to Head
I= Infectious Diseases
A= Alcohol, Arteriosclerosis
Alzheimer’s dementia is an irreversible, progressive neurodegenerative disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. Whereas dementia stands for a range of neurological illnesses and is not an individualistic condition, Alzheimer’s is a specified disorder that deteriorates further over the years. This condition is the most common form of dementia, making up 80 per cent of cases. There is no possible way of slowing the progression of this degenerative disease that first affects the brain's ability to process new information.
Advanced symptoms are:
Change in behaviour
Problems with speech
The risk of the neurological condition increases with age and affects 10 per cent of people above 65. Although there are tests such as a mini-exam and mini-cog assessment to confirm Alzheimer’s dementia, diagnosis has prognostic and treatment implications. A person goes through different shades of emotions from being angry, experiencing shock, disbelief and fear. Coming to terms with these emotions can be challenging, but relief sets in as an individual understand the disease and develops a good support structure.
All patients with dementia need a work-up.… and it's mostly a thorough history of the condition.