Dementia is a mental condition that is linked to problems in memory, reasoning , cognitive, motor and language abilities, that can harshly affect the day-to-day functioning of an individual. There is a huge loss of problem solving abilities with a marked change in emotional reasoning, personality traits. However, one should know that memory loss, mild loss of motor and cognitive functioning does not equate dementia. Since this mental disorder can affect people in the old age, it is imperative to differentiate between dementia and other old age problems
Early onset dementia symptoms
Some people may show more symptoms of dementia while others may be affected severely. There are some indicators which hint at early onset dementia symptoms which are as follows
• Short-term memory loss. A person may forget where she/he has placed an object and then remember it later, or may forget saying something and say it again
• Loss of ability to do activities of daily life. For instance, the person may find it difficult to do regular tasks like dinner, cleaning, driving and even maintaining personal hygiene
• There is a shift in personality, a happy go lucky person may just become irritable in nature
• Forgetful in the sense, the person may keep on losing things
• Behavioral disorders like paranoia and continuous suspicion
• Loss of reasoning power and judgement
• Mood swings giving way to anger and rage
• The person may be at loss to choose the right word to convey a message
• The person may become disoriented and start to lose sense of time and place. For instance, he or she may go to a place and find it difficult to come home
• Become childish in nature
• Intermediate dementia means progression in the above mentioned symptoms, along with insomnia and hallucinations.
• Severe Dementia is a serious condition in which the person is completely dependent on other, suffers memory loss short-term as well as long-term, suffers from severe depression and has increased risk to infections and illnesses.
Causes of Dementia
Some of the causes of Dementia are listed below:
• An individual who has the Alzheimer’s disease is at high risk to Dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is caused due to neurological deficiencies in the brain and can worsen with the progression of the disease. Since the brain cells die and there is plaque formation, dementia sets in.
• Dementia can have a genetic cause too. Abnormalities and mutations in the Genes like apolipoprotein E can cause Dementia.
• Some of the other diseases that can lead to dementia are stroke, Down syndrome, HIV virus that infects the brain, Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s disease, lewy bodies in the brain, deterioration of cells in the frontal, temporal lobes of the brain and the cortex. Dementia can also be caused due to repeated blows and impact to the brain, as in contact sports like boxing.
• Excessive smoking, alcohol and substance abuse, increased levels of cholesterol and diabetes can also increase the risk factor of dementia .
Treatment of Dementia
Dementia cannot be cured, but there are some mediations that can repair the ongoing symptoms, manage the disease better and even treat the symptoms of dementia that can be reversed. The medications are mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, stimulants and serotonin affecting drugs. Cognitive behavioural therapy is also used to treat dementia.