What is the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s? Is there a common cause of dementia? Are there any treatments or drugs for those suffering from dementia? Understanding dementia requires expertise which we can help you with through the professional resources below.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a disorder of the brain that is characterized by the deteriorating memory and cognitive abilities of a person along with their personality and orientation. Dementia can affect a person’s ability to reason, think, learn new information and skills, remember, make judgments, and solve problems. The condition can result in a progressive deteriorating of the person’s daily activities, work, and ability to interact with others. There is currently no known cure for dementia but through medications and treatment, its progression can be slowed down.

Signs and Symptoms of Dementia

  • Difficulty in solving problems and making plans
  • Forgetfulness that affects day-to-day activities
  • Poor or decreased judgment
  • Confusion of place and time
  • Changes in personality
  • Difficulty in doing familiar tasks
  • Misplacing things
  • Problem in communicating
  • Changes in behavior or mood
  • Withdrawal from work or social activities

Preventing Dementia

There is no way to prevent dementia but its risks can be lowered by:

  • Eating healthily
  • Staying physically active
  • Being socially active
  • Staying mentally active
  • Taking control over your health

Risk Factors of Dementia

  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Stroke

Causes of Dementia

  • Alzheimer’s Disease – Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease in which the brain’s nerve cells are destroyed that leads to the shrinkage of the brain substance. The cause of Alzheimer’s is not fully understood but a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors is the likely reason.
  • Vascular Dementia – Vascular dementia occurs when the blood supply to the brain is reduced due to damaged blood vessels. This deprives brain cells of vital nutrients and oxygen. There are many factors that can raise the chances of damage to blood vessels in the brain which can be prevented.

Diagnosis of Dementia

A healthcare practitioner will first interview the person in question along with their family members and caregivers. This will provide them with crucial information such as the patient’s symptoms, medical background, and family history. The process will be followed with an assessment that includes a cognitive and language ability test before a blood sample is taken to test for vitamin deficiency, liver function, and thyroid function. A brain imaging test may also be conducted to scan the brain cells and its substance.

Treatment of Dementia

Dementia cannot be cured but there are treatments and medications that can slow down its progression. There are behavioral therapies, counselling, and other cognitive stimulating activities that can help to improve the quality of life of a person with dementia.

Social Support for Caregivers

Taking care of people with dementia requires patience and a lot of knowledge. If you require guidance on how to properly care for a loved one with dementia, there are many avenues that provide dementia support for caregivers. You can consider services like:

  • Individual and family counseling
  • Education sessions on dementia along with caregiver skills
  • Sessions with healthcare professionals and counselors
  • Regular caregiver support groups
  • Respite care for the affected person
  • Online discussions