Dementia:Causes, signs, types, and stages

Dementia

Dementia the term is a  collection  used to explain several signs of cognitive rejection, like forgetfulness. It is a sign of various  underlying diseases and brain disorders.Dementia the term , is never a  particular disease in itself, but a general term to explain symptoms of impairment in the brain, communication, and thinking.
While the likelihood of having dementia increases with age, it is not absolutely the  normal part of aging.
An analysis of the most recent census estimates that 4.7 million people aged 65 years or older in the United States were living with Alzheimer’s disease in 2010. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that:

just over a tenth of people aged 65 years or more have Alzheimer’s disease

this proportion rises to about a third of people aged 85 and older

Alzheimer’s accounts for 70-80 percent of all cases of dementia

In  discussion the potential causes of dementia, the several types, and any available treatments.

 Facts about dementia

There are  estimated 47.6 million dementia sufferers worldwide

A new cases of dementia is diagnosed every 5 seconds

dementia most atimes affects older people but is not a normally  way  of aging

Dementia signs

Dementia symptoms include memory loss, disorientation, and mood changes.

persons with dementia may show any of the signs  below, mostly due to memory loss.Most signs they may notice themselves, others may only be noticed by people around the patienr or medical workers.
The signs used to compile this list are published by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) in the journal American Family Physician.
Possible symptoms of dementia:Sudden  memory loss – a symptoms of this might be asking the same question repeatedly within few minutes.

Difficulty in completing similiar tasks– for example, making a drink or cooking a meal things you know how to do before.

Problems communicating – Find it difficult with language; forgetting simple words or using the wrong ones.

Disorientation – not recognising previously familiar street, for example.

Problems with partial  thinking – for instance, dealing with money, lost of glance.

Misplacing things – forgetting the location of everyday items such as keys, or wallets, for example.

Mood changes – sudden and unexplained changes in outlook , unnecessary anger.

Personality changes – perhaps becoming irritable, unexplained and unexpect personality.

Loss of initiative – showing less interest in starting something or going somewhere.

As the patient ages, late-stage dementia symptoms tend to worsen.

Dementia levels

Most atimes, dementia is simply divide into four categories:

  • Mind congintive

  • impairment: characterized by general forgetfulness. This affects several persons as they age but it only progresses to dementia for sometimes.
  • Mild dementias:

  • people with mild dementia normally  experience cognitive impairments that occasionally impact their daily life. Signs include memory loss, confusion, personality changes, getting lost,  and carrying out tasks.
  • Moderate dementias:

  • daily life becomes very challenging, and the individual may need more help. Signs are almost the same to mild dementia but increases. Individuals may need help getting dressed and combing their hair and other domestic work. They may also show significant changes in personality; for instance, becoming suspicious or agitated for no reason. There are also likely to be sleep disturbances and other disturbance.
  • Severe dementias:

  • at this stage, symptoms have worsened considerably. There may be a loss of ability to communicate, and the individual might need full-time care. Simple tasks, such as sitting and holding one’s head up become impossible. Bladder control may be lost.

    Dementia types

    There are several types of dementia, including:

    Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by “plaques” between the dying cells in the brain and “tangles” within the cells (both are due to protein abnormalities). The brain tissue in a person with Alzheimer’s has progressively fewer nerve cells and connections, and the total brain size shrinks or dies.

    Dementia with Lewy bodies is a neurodegenerative condition linked to abnormal structures in the brain. The brain changes involve a protein called alpha-synuclein.

    Mixed dementia  is a diagnosis of two or three types occurring together. For example, a person may have both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia at the same time.

    Parkinson’s disease is also marked by the presence of Lewy bodies. Although Parkinson’s is often considered a disorder of movement, it can also lead to dementia symptoms.

    Huntington’s disease is characterized by specific types of uncontrolled movements but also includes dementia.

    Other disorders leading to symptoms of dementia include:

    Frontotemporal dementia also known as Pick’s disease.

    Normal pressure hydrocephaluswhen excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain.

    Posterior cortical atrophy resembles changes seen in Alzheimer’s disease but in a different part of the brain.

    Down syndrome increases the likelihood of young-onset Alzheimer’s.

    Early signs

    Early signs of dementia can include:

    Sudden changes in short-term memory.

  • Likely to remember anything.
  • Changes in mood.Trouble finding the right words.Confusion.
  • Forgetfulness.
  • Being repetitive .Finds it hard to follow a storyline.Trouble completing everyday tasks.Poor sense of direction.

    Difficulty adapting to changes.

    Dementias causes

    Dementias  causes are  brain cell damage, and neurodegenerative disease – progressive brain cell death it happens over time – is associated with most dementias.

  • However is specifically stated that it is Not verified  that the dementia causes the brain cell death, or the brain cell death causes the dementia.
  • But, as well as progressive brain cell death, like that seen in Alzheimer’s disease, dementia can be caused by a head injury, a stroke, a brain tumor, or injuries sustained in the head and among other causes.Vascular dementia (also called multi-infarct dementia) – resulting from brain cell death caused by conditions such as cerebrovascular disease, for example, stroke. This prevents normal blood flow, depriving brain cells of oxygen to function.Injury – post-traumatic dementia is directly related to brain cell death caused by injury.Some types of traumatic brain injury – particularly if repetitive, such as those received by sports players – have been linked to certain dementias appearing later in life. Evidence is weak, however, that a single brain injury raises the likelihood of having a degenerative dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Dementia can also be caused by:HIV infection – how the virus damages brain cells is not certain, but it is known to occur.Reversible factors – some dementias can be treated by reversing the effects of underlying causes, including medication interactions, depression, vitamin deficiencies, and thyroid abnormalities.

    Diagnosing dementia

  • One of the step in testing memory performance and cognitive health involves standard questions and giving instructions to perform .Research has shown that dementia cannot be reliably diagnosed without using the standard tests under, completing them fully, and recording all the answers; however, diagnosis also takes account of other factors.

    Cognitive dementia tests

    Today’s cognitive dementias tests are  used widely and have been tested as a reliable way of indicating dementia. They have changed little since being established in the early 1980s. The abbreviated mental test score has questions, which include:

  • Question about your age?Question about  the time, to the nearest hour?
  • Question about the year?Question about  date of birth?correct answer gets one points; scoring six points or fewer suggests cognitive impairment.
  • The General Practitioner Assessment of Cognition (GPACOG) test includes an added element for recording the observations of relatives and healthcare managers.
    Recognised for doctors, this sort of test may be the first formal assessment of a person’s mental ability.
    The second part of the test probes someone close to the patient and includes six questions to find out whether the patient has:become less able to remember recent events or conversationsbegun struggling to find the right words or using inappropriate onesfound difficulty managing money or medicationsneeded more help with transport (without the reason being, for example, injury)

    If the test does suggest memory loss, standard enquires are then recommended, including routine blood tests and a CT brain scan.
    Clinical tests will identify, or rule out, treatable causes of memory loss and help to narrow down potential causes, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
    The mini-mental state examination (MMSE) is a cognitive test which measures:

    orientation to time and place

    word recall

    language abilities

    attention and calculation

    The MMSE is used to help diagnose dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease and also to rate its severity and whether drug treatment is needed.

    Dementia treatments

    Dementia is not normally part of aging.

    Brain cell damage cannot be reversed, so there is no known cure for degenerative dementia for now.
    Management of disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease is instead focused on providing care and treating symptoms rather than their underlying cause.
    If dementias symptoms are due to a reversible, non-degenerative cause, however, treatment may be possible to prevent or halt further brain tissue damage.

  • Examples include injury, medication effects, and vitamin deficiency.
    Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can be reduced by some medications. There are four drugs, called cholinesterase inhibitors, approved for use in the U.Sdonepezil (brand name Aricept)

    galantamine (Reminyl)

    rivastigmine (Exelon)

    tacrine (Cognex)

    A different kind of drug, memantine (Namenda), an NMDA receptor antagonist, may also be used, alone or  combine with a cholinesterase inhibitor.
    Cholinesterase inhibitors can also help with the behavioral elements of Parkinson’s disease.

    Other quality-of-life care

    “Brain training” may help improve cognitive functioning and help deal with forgetfulness in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. This might involve the use of mnemonics and other memory aids such as computerized recall devices.

    Prevention of dementia

    Certain risk factors are known to be associated with dementias. However, age is one of the factors. Other risk factors include:

    Smoking and alcohol use.

    Atherosclerosis (cardiovascular disease causing the arteries to narrow).

    High levels of “bad” cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein).

    Above-average blood levels of homocysteine (a type of amino acid).

    Diabetes.

    Mild cognitive impairment may sometimes, but not always, lead to dementias.