Dementia is a combination of symptoms that affects how we use our brain. They can include: trouble in thinking, language, low problem solving skills, and loss of memory. The symptoms are gradual and may sometimes not be severe enough to affect the patient’s daily life. Apart from the above symptoms, your loved one might also have changes in mood or behavior as response to the effects of the direct dementia issues.
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The causes for this conglomerate of brain related conditions varies widely. Any condition leading to brain damage can cause dementia. The severity or type of dementia will vary depending on the part of brain that was affected by the condition or trauma.
The most common signs of dementia include:
- Difficulty in remembering daily events due to affected day-to-day memory
- Low concentration, organizing, and planning powers, hence having trouble making decisions, accomplishing sequential tasks, and solving problems
- Trouble finding the right words or choosing your language
Problems judging distances
- Losing track of day, date and general loss of orientation
There is a wide range of conditions that can lead to dementia. Below are some of the most common causes:
Alzheimer’s DiseaseThis is by far the most common cause of dementia. A huge percentage of the people in retirement communities and assisted living facilities who suffer from dementia can trace it back to Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s involves an abnormal protein surrounding brain cells and rendering them inefficient in handling the important chemical connections between synapses. This will consequently lead to memory loss, decision making and perception problems.
Vascular DementiaVascular dementia occurs when the oxygen supply to the brain is hindered by a blockage of narrowing of blood vessels leading to the brain. The lack of oxygen might then damage some of the brain cells and kill more cells. This type of damage occurs during a stroke or after subcortical vascular dementia, a condition that affects small blood vessels in the brain.
Dementia With Lewy BodiesThis happens when abnormal structures (Lewy bodies) form in the brain. The Lewy bodies will either directly kill brain cells or affect the chemical process of the brain. Symptoms range from trouble in judging distance to loss of day to day memory. This type of dementia will also have symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease, for example, troubled mobility.
Frontotemporal DementiaThis type of dementia happens when the front and side parts of the brain are damaged. This damage could either be due to trauma or the formation of abnormal proteins inside the brain cells. The result is changes in behavior and personality. They will also have problems with fluent speech or word meaning, depending on which section of the brain received most of the damage. Dementia has severe symptoms that can affect the individual’s independent living. Mild memory related problems that don’t develop into dementia and are not severed enough to tamper with your daily life are mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and are easier to manage. People with MCI may have higher chances of getting dementia.
Dementia is common in people above 65 years of age. Scientists have proof that your genome can affect how prone or resistant you are to dementia. Since it is an irreversible condition, anyone looking for places to retire should consider retirement communities that are capable of caring for those with dementia, with acute attention and gentleness.