Dementia that includes Alzheimer’s is a degenerative disease. It is estimated that 60% to 80% of all Dementia cases is accounted for by Alzheimer’s alone. Such is the dominance of Alzheimer’s as a category. Dementia is the decline in mental ability, memory or other thinking skills, such that it begins to interfere in day to day living and is progressive/degenerative in nature. Unlike other mental disabilities Dementia is not a term that is termed as a disease but a description and includes a wide spectrum of symptoms. The other common types of Dementia are post stroke called Vascular. While these are irreversible the other major types of this disease are caused by thyroid, alcohol abuse, Depression, medication side effects and vitamin deficiency and cure for these exist.
The mere presence does not lead to a categorization of dementia but must significantly affect 2 of 5 core mental abilities: memory, communication and language, easy distraction, visual perception, and reasoning and judgment. Many other causes can lead to impairment of memory or other thinking skills and that this is the time to consult a Professional as they most likely will be in the reversible category and responsive to treatment.
Dementia’s main cause, if there was one, is the degeneration or damage of brain cells, in the particular region of the brain that performs that particular function, leading to breakdown in their ability to communicate with one another. This affects their ability to think, to feel and to behave. There is not one type of “test” to determine Dementia but a collective level of tests after which the neurologist with certainty will specify the onset of Dementia. But he may not be able to exactly specify the type of Dementia.
The early onset of Dementia is less complicated. Dementia is generally post 65 years of chronological age, and as early onset suggests this occurs in the age group of 40 to 50 years. They have three distinct phases: early-middle-late. But the difficulty is in Diagnosis. As Dementia does not occur in this early stage of life rarely in a case do Doctors look for symptoms of Dementia leading to a prolonged level of time before an accurate Diagnosis is arrived at. However, it has been determined that there are a group of rare genes that are hereditary genes and cause “familial Alzheimer’s disease”. The negative impact that this has on the individual is the breaking of the news in early life, its impact it has on the job at hand, and the effect on overall family life. But a comprehensive study and help from professionals can make the patient endure life with hope and healthily.
On the other hand Senile Dementia has a better chance of Diagnosis as it occurs at a later chronological age and causes an impairment of memory functions. There are two basic categories: due to age and called atrophied Alzheimer’s and due to Stroke and called “vascular”. Senile Dementia is often interchangeably used with Alzheimer’s. The Western countries have a lot of hope as you can join trails on these disease’s, be part of social security’s, and be part of the larger social effort at rehabilitation. If not in India than in Bangalore help is available at hand at neuro-psychiatry hospitals. An early intervention by team of professionals makes this brain disease more accurately diagnosable and therefore a plan of action for prognosis executed giving hope to the patient as to the family.