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Dementia in the Elderly

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Dementia is the collaboration of multiple symptoms decreasing the functionality of the brain and affecting an individual’s lifestyle. Some of these symptoms will be described later in the article.

Dementia in the Elderly

Dementia in the Elderly

 

Dementia can also be separated into various categories with the most common categories being:

–       Cortical (memory, speech, thought, sociability)

–       Subcortical (memory, emotions, coordination)

–       Progressive (reduced cognitive functionality overtime)

–       Primary (Dementia is the result of a particular disease such as Alzheimer’s disease)

–       Secondary (Dementia is the result of an injury or a disease)

Within the categories specified above, two of the most common types of dementia include: dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease and Vascular Dementia.

Dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly. A person with Alzheimer’s disease will begin to experience memory loss and speech difficulties as a result of the brain damage that this disease causes.

Vascular Dementia

Vascular Dementia is the second most common type of dementia. This classification of dementia is the result of cerebrovascular brain damage (as a result of interruptions of blood circulation to the brain), cardiovascular brain damage (as a result of blood clots in the brain) or other complications that restrict the body’s blood flow. In addition to the symptoms seen in a senior with Alzheimer’s disease, a senior with Vascular Dementia will experience personality changes and mood swings later on as this condition progresses.

Common Symptoms

A common misperception is that elderly people with memory loss have dementia. While this may be true in some cases, dementia is usually associated with individuals who experience impairment in two or more of the following vital life functions:

–       memory (ability to retain ideas)

–       language (ability to speak coherently)

–       perception (ability to understand)

–       judgement (ability to separate right from wrong)

As a result of losing some of the life functions above, seniors may experience the following symptoms:

–       mood swings

–       personality changes

–       communication difficulty

–       irrationality

–       lack of focus

–       apathy (lack of emotion)

–       inability to perform regular tasks

–       confusion

–       repeating sentences

–       difficulty adapting to change

In addition to the symptoms mentioned above, short-term memory loss may also be an early indication of an elderly experiencing dementia.

Treatment

As mentioned earlier, because Dementia is a common onset of the incurable Alzheimer’s Disease, it does not presently have a cure. However, there are ways to still remedy the symptoms and live a more normal lifestyle. For Dementia induced by Alzheimer’s Disease, the doctor may recommend medicine as appropriate to help control the symptoms experienced by a senior with this condition. Furthermore, performing exercise, maintaining a good diet and having frequent care from family are effective ways of reducing the progression of Dementia and helping victims of Dementia continue to live a healthy lifestyle. Please visit your local doctor for more information about ways to cope with the symptoms or effects of Dementia.


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