It may be an early warning sign of dementia if you’re becoming increasingly forgetful. In reality, dementia isn’t a specific disease, but a word used to describe a set of symptoms that follow when the brain cells stop functioning properly. Dementia is attributed to the loss of mental ability. It deteriorates the thinking and remembering abilities of the affected individuals. Dementia is progressive in nature, which means the symptoms would steadily get worse as the brain cells get older. It is treatable up to some extent and becomes incurable for irreversible symptoms. This article gives you a brief overview of the symptoms, causes, and types of dementia along with its treatment approaches.
Symptoms of Dementia
Unlike other diseases, dementia has a set of two groups of symptoms: reversible symptoms and irreversible symptoms. These symptoms depend on etiologies of the disease and are usually subtle. Sometimes, it is hard to recognize them for a number of years. The most commonly seen symptoms of dementia include: memory loss, problems with language and abstract thinking, difficulty in performing routine tasks, reduced or poor judgment, disorientation of place and time, frequent changes in mood, behavior, and personality, misplacing things and loss of initiative. The speed at which symptoms get worse is based on the causes of dementia that may vary from person to person.
Causes of Dementia
Dementia is primarily caused by damage to the brain cells. If the brain cells don’t communicate normally, thinking power, feeling and behavior can be affected. Different types of dementia are linked with certain types of the brain cell damages. Most changes in the brain that cause dementia are enduring. Thinking and memory problems are caused by medication side effects, depression and excess use of alcohol, vitamin deficiencies and thyroid problems. Dementia could be categorised in different ways and are clustered by what they’ve in common. Categories of dementia that aren’t reversible include: lewy body dementia, vascular dementia and frontotemporal dementia.
Treatments for Dementia
In most cases, dementia can’t be reversed. Treatment programs for dementia depend upon its causes. There is no treatment for progressive dementias including Alzheimer’s disease, but drug treatments may temporarily improve symptoms. Non-drug therapies could also be used to alleviate some symptoms of dementia. A few cases of dementia are caused by medical conditions that could be treated. The basic treatments prescribed by doctors are:
- Administration of thyroid hormones for hypothyroidism
- Conducting surgery if the cause of dementia is a tumor
- Antake of vitamins for cases with deficiency of vitamin B12
- Medicines are prescribed to treat infections affecting the mental state
- Medicines such as memantine, inhibitors and antidepressants are prescribed to ease agitation, aggression, anxiety and hallucinations