Dementia: A Forgotten Disease- Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

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Dementia- A Forgotten Disease- Symptoms, Causes, Types & Treatment, Medication, Therapy, Diet, and Exercise.

People forget a lot. But if this forgetfulness is excessive, which makes daily life difficult or disrupts the quality of life of the affected person. And then it is a disease. And there may be various reasons behind this.

Dementia Meaning

Dementia is not a specific disease. It is a general term for the impaired ability to think, remember, or make decisions that interfere with regular activities.

Alzheimer’s disease is a common type of dementia. Although dementia mainly affects older adults, it isn’t a part of typical aging.

If the problem of forgetfulness occurs suddenly for a short period, we can call it an acute confusing state. The following reasons can usually cause this type of confusing state-

  • a stroke,
  • a salt imbalance,
  • a head injury, or
  • a decrease or increase in blood glucose levels.

The dementia problem can be cured after taking proper treatment. But if the issue of forgetting is long-term, the cure is not easy; instead continues to increase day by day, and then it is called dementia.

Types of Dementia

The list of possible causes of dementia is very long. Here are a few of the most common conditions:

  • Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Huntington’s disease.
  • Vascular dementia.
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies.
  • Frontotemporal dementia.
  • Normal pressure hydrocephalus.
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (prion disease).
  • Corticobasal degeneration.
  • Mild cognitive impairment.

Why Is That Dementia

With age, there is a tendency to forget a little. A large proportion of the elderly over the age of 60 suffer from forgetfulness.

But it can also be due to some diseases. For example, a decrease in thyroid hormone or hypothyroidism symptoms is forgetfulness or loss of attention.

Vitamin B12 deficiency affects the nerves and the brain. For this reason, it is not unusual.

Besides, blood clots due to head injuries, brain damage due to tumors or strokes can lead to amnesia. Degenerative diseases of the brain, such as Alzheimer’s disease, are among the leading causes of dementia.

About two in 100 people aged 65 to 69 years develop dementia, and this number increases to 19 in 100 for those aged 85 to 89.

How would you know about Dementia?

You can be careful about your own or relatives’ dementia when you first see small behavioral changes.

  • Forget the near past, but remember a long time ago. You can’t remember whether you forgot your breakfast or take the medication.
  • If someone keeps asking the same question over and over again.
  • Another notable symptom is a frequent denial of this tendency to forget and arguing with family members.
  • Symptoms may include not being able to find the correct words when speaking, sudden personality changes, sudden anger, excessive restlessness, lack of sleep, and seeing or hearing wrong.

This type of symptom and problem often happens in older people, and we take it as a regular change with age. This leads to the day-to-day situation, and at one time, the final form becomes.

Of those under 65 years of age, there is an estimated 5.0 million adults with dementia in 2014 and projected to be nearly 14 million by 2060.

10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Dementia

  • Memory loss disrupts daily life.
  • Challenges in planning or solving problems.
  • Difficulty completing familiar and simple tasks.
  • Confusion with time or place.
  • Trouble understanding visual images.
  • Problems with words in speaking or writing.
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.
  • Decreased or poor judgment.
  • Withdrawal from personal work or social activities.
  • Personality changes.

How is Dementia Diagnosed?

A healthcare provider can perform tests on attention, memory, problem solving, and other cognitive abilities. They perform these to see if there is cause for concern. A physical exam, blood tests, and brain scans like a CT (computed tomography) or MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) can help determine an underlying cause.

What to do when you feel the problem

Don’t laugh or give up as usual with age because something can be done before the problem gets serious. So you should consult a neurologist.
Physicians usually perform a type of question-and-answer test called ‘Mini-Mental State Examination’ to diagnose it. If necessary, thyroid hormone, the number of vitamin B-12 in the blood, and an expert used MRI of the head to diagnose the cause of dementia.

Dementia risk and prevention

Risk factors for dementia, for example, age and genetics, cannot be changed. But researchers continue to explore the impact of other risk factors on brain health and prevention of dementia.

Dementia is hard to avoid because what causes it often is not known. But people who have dementia caused by stroke may be able to prevent future declines by lowering their risk of heart disease and stroke. Even if you do not have these known risks, your overall health can benefit from these strategies:

Research reported at the 2019 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® suggests that adopting multiple healthy lifestyle choices, including-

  • a healthy diet.
  • not smoking.
  • Manage health problems including diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
  • regular exercise, and
  • cognitive stimulation may decrease the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
  • Stay mentally alert by learning new hobbies, reading, or solving crossword puzzles.
  • Stay involved socially.
  • Attend community activities, church, or support groups.

Calcium supplements and dementia

According to a study, calcium supplements may associate with an increased risk of dementia in older women who have had a stroke or other signs of cerebrovascular disease.

The research is published in the August 17, 2016, online issue of Neurology®, the American Academy of Neurology’s medical journal.

The study found that the women who were treated with calcium supplements were twice as likely to develop dementia than women who did not take supplements.

Calcium from food affects the body differently than calcium from supplements and appears to be safe or even protective against vascular problems.

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What is the difference between Schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s

  • Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.
  • Usually manifests around the age of 65 or after.
  • The Alzheimer’s destruction of brain cells causes progressive problems with memory and other cognitive functions, for example, reasoning, spatial orientation, language, and abstract thinking.
  • People with Alzheimer’s experience many physical and psychological difficulties and often become agitated, anxious, aggressive, and, at times, psychotic.

Schizophrenia

  • Schizophrenia is a psychotic illness.
  • Generally manifests in individuals between the late teens and the early 30s.
  • Symptoms include
    • hallucinations and delusions (also experienced by individuals with Alzheimer’s),
    • Difficulty organizing thoughts,
    • a decreased ability to show or express emotion.

There are medications to treat Schizophrenia and significantly reduce the symptoms.

Though Alzheimer’s and Schizophrenia are radically different disorders, new research suggests that each condition affects the same areas of the brain.

Is there no treatment?

Medication for the Dementia

Several specialists such as physicians, nurses, and health professionals need help with dementia. A complete team of psychiatrists, neurologists, nutritionists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, skilled nurses can play a great role in the treatment of dementia patients.

We can divide the treatment of this disease into two parts, drug-based and non-drug therapy.

Medicine-Based Dementia Treatment

Rivastigmine, Donepezil, and memantine are effective in treating dementia patients. Doctors apply Rivastigmine patches on the skin. It is very effective in the treatment of dementia.

An older adult can be completely relieved of their dependence if we care for them and perform treatment under an expert doctor early as the disease progresses.

Dementia Treatment without Medicine

In addition to medication, some issues are essential in the treatment of this disease.

  • Provide adequate nutrition and vitamins in the diet.
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Exercise regularly
  • Intellectual discussion.

Stem cell therapy is currently the treatment for hereditary brain dementia, and we believe it will be effective. If this treatment is successful, we can say that the treatment of dementia will go a long way.

It can make a person’s normal daily activities miserable. At some point, the condition can become so severe that the patient cannot eat or use the toilet on his own.

Dementia affected people for getting lifelong learning habits. So it needs treatment. Even if it is not wholly the same as before, if the severity of the dementia disease can be kept down a bit, the demented person will be much better in the family and society.

FAQs About Dementia

Q: Can dementia get worse suddenly?

Ans: Yes, Vascular dementia causes problems with mental abilities and many other difficulties.

The symptoms can start gradually or suddenly. They tend to get worse over time, although proper treatment can help slow this down.

Q: What is end-stage dementia?

Ans: Sometimes called “late-stage dementia.”

Sometimes called “late-stage dementia,” end-stage dementia is the stage in which dementia symptoms become severe to the point where a patient requires help with everyday activities. The person may also have signs that indicate that they are near the end of life.

Q: What should you not say to someone with dementia?

Ans: I am going to discuss five of the most basic ones here:

  1. I am going to discuss five of the most basic ones here:
  2. Do not tell them they are wrong about something,
  3. Never argue with them,
  4. Don’t ask if they remember something,
  5. Do not remind them that their spouse, parent, or other loved one is dead, and
  6. Never bring up topics that may upset them.

Q: What are foods that fight memory loss?

Ans: 11 Best Foods to Boost Your Brain and Memory-

  • Coffee.
  • Fatty Fish.
  • Eggs.
  • Green Tea.
  • Blueberries.
  • Turmeric.
  • Broccoli.
  • Pumpkin Seeds.
  • Dark Chocolate.
  • Nuts.
  • Oranges.

Q: Is coffee good for Dementia?

Ans: According to a CAIDE study, drinking 3 to 5 cups of coffee per day at midlife was associated with a decreased risk of dementia/AD (Alzheimer’s Disease) by about 65%.

Q: Are eggs bad for dementia?

Ans: According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, we found an essential nutrient found in eggs with enhanced cognitive performance and a lower risk of incident dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. People who ate the most eggs succeeded better in specific cognitive tests.

Q: Is ice cream good for dementia?

Ans: Recent epidemiological studies have suggested that dairy products such as yogurt and low-fat cheese reduce the risk of cognitive decline and contribute to the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.

Q: Is chocolate bad for dementia?

Ans: Eating dark chocolate could slow the progression of dementia.

Q: Is cheese bad for dementia?

Ans: Researchers found that when consumed responsibly, red wine and cheese seemed to be protective against deteriorating memory and other thinking skills. The study also found that eating lamb once a week offered some benefits.

Q: Why do dementia patients stare?

Ans: The patience might Be Bored. If the patient with dementia is staring out and staring off into space, it might be because their ability to process information decreases. However, they need something other than Bingo to fill their time.

Q: Why do dementia patients keep their eyes closed?

Ans: Often, in the fourth stage, they seem to sit quietly, either in a type of daze or their eyes closed. People with dementia might sit in a chair or lie in bed staring directly into the air or close their eyes.

Q: Does dementia affect the eyes?

Ans: Dementia patients can have visual difficulties caused by the brain but still have healthy eyes.

Dementias that impact vision are Lewy Body, Posterior Cortical Atrophy, Alzheimer’s, and Vascular Dementia.

Q: Why do dementia patients stop talking?

Ans: Alzheimer’s disease and dementias destroy brain cells. An important symptom is “aphasia.” which is losing the ability to speak and understand speech.

Aphasia worsens the condition as the disease progresses. It becomes harder to remember the right words and process what others are saying.

Q: Do dementia patients sleep a lot?

Ans: Sleeping more is a pervasive feature of the later-stage dementia patient. As the disease progresses, the damage to brain cells becomes more extensive, and they gradually become weaker and frailer over time.

Q: Why do dementia patients play with poop?

Ans: Dementia patients trying to relieve discomfort and clean up may smear feces on walls and surfaces. Bowel training can be a good solution for this Alzheimer’s symptom.

Alzheimer’s caregivers can inspire the loved one to go to the toilet every two hours.

Q: What vitamins help prevent dementia?

Ans: Foods like robust, well-researched vitamins and minerals prevent dementia. However, vitamin D deficiency increases dementia risk.

  • Sunshine is one of the best natural sources of vitamin D.
  • One tablespoon of cod liver oil supplements 170% of daily vitamin D.

Q: What foods are bad for dementia?

Ans: The diet limits explicitly red meat, butter and cheese, margarine, pastries and sweets, and fried or fast food. People with dementia should have fewer than four servings a week of red meat, a tablespoon of butter a day, and less than a serving a week of each of the following: fried food, whole-fat cheese, and fast food.

Q: Can a person with dementia still work?

Ans: As dementia is a progressive condition, unfortunately, there will come a time when it is impossible to continue the work. But, it is not a failure to have a condition that makes it impossible to continue working.

Q: What are the best Colors for dementia patients?

Ans: Various colors, particularly in the environment for those living with dementia, can help provide quality care. Color preferences for individuals with dementia are red, blue, and green. For instance, blue is a restful color with a calming effect.

Q: At what stage of dementia do hallucinations occur?

Ans: Hallucinations result from changes in the brain that usually happen in the middle or later stages of the dementia journey if they occur at all.

Hallucinations are more common in dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s dementia. However, they can also happen in Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.

Q: What is the best environment for dementia patients?

Ans: It is essential to make the toilet or bathroom a safe and accessible place for a person with dementia.

The proper design can help a person with dementia to preserve their independence and dignity over personal care. Going to the toilet or bathing should be, if not pleasant, at least stress-free.

Q: How can I make my home dementia-friendly?

Ans: Ten ways to make your home dementia-friendly.

  • Make sure you have got good lighting.
  • Make sure your flooring is safe.
  • Place furniture you can see clearly.
  • Make eating and drinking easier.
  • Remind yourself where things are.
  • Keep things simple in the bathroom.
  • Keep clutter-free.
  • Use the right equipment to keep yourself safe.
  • Keep active and engaged.
  • Get outside for your wellbeing.

Q: What games can you play with dementia patients?

Ans: 10 Games for adults with dementia:

  • Bingo. it is a great game for providing the right level of mental stimulation.
  • Noughts and Crosses.
  • Snakes and Ladders.
  • Call to Mind.
  • 20 Questions.
  • Dominoes.
  • Draughts.
  • Card Games.
  • Batik.
  • Uno.

Q: What financial help is available for dementia sufferers?

Ans: The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America offers “Family Respite Care Grants” by funding local, non-profit member organizations. Other states financial help are-

  • Alaska Adult Day Services.
  • Oregon Project Independence.
  • Alaska Alzheimer’s Disease & Related Dementias Mini-Grants.
  • Delaware Adult Day Care and Alzheimer’s Day Treatment.
  • Alaska Senior In-Home (SIH) Services.
  • Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative.
  • Kentucky Adult Day Care and Alzheimer’s Respite Program.
  • New Jersey Alzheimer’s Adult Day Care Services.
  • North Carolina Project C.A.R.E.
  • North Carolina Special Assistance Adult Care Home Special Care Unit Program.
  • Vermont Dementia Care Respite.
  • West Virginia Family Alzheimer’s In-Home Respite.
  • Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Family & Caregiver Support.
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