Dementia negatively affects cognitive functions like memory, language, problem solving, etc...
Dementia is a group of symptoms that affect cognitive functioning including memory, language, visual perception, problem solving, and attention to the extent that interferes with your daily life and activities.
Dementia can range from very mild to a severe stage of total dependence for activities of daily life. Dementia is not a part of normal aging and does not refer to age related memory loss.
Cognitive Changes may include…
- Memory loss
- Difficulty finding the correct word to use
- Impaired visuospatial skills skills, such as getting lost while driving
- Reduced problem solving ability
- Difficulty planning and organizing
- Lack of coordination
- Disorientation and/or confusion
Psychological Changes may include...
- Changes in personality
- Depression and/or anxiety
Causes of Dementia
Dementia is a result of loss of or damage to nerve cells and their connections in the brain. Some types of dementia or diseases causing dementia include...
Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common cause of dementia and involves plaques (clumps of a protein called beta-amyloid) that are believed to damage healthy neurons and pathways in the brain
Vascular Dementia is caused by damage to blood vessels in the brain.
Lewy Body Dementia involves abnormal balloon-like clumps of protein in the brain.
Frontotemporal Dementia is caused by a breakdown of nerve cells and their connections in both the frontal lobe and the temporal lobe.
Parkinson’s disease may eventually lead to dementia symptoms in its later stages.
Hunington’s Disease causes nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to deteriorate and is caused by a genetic mutation.
Traumatic Brain Injury is often caused by repeated head trauma and can lead to dementia symptoms.
*A few of the dementia-like conditions that can be reversed include infections, metabolic problems, nutritional deficiencies, medication side effects, and brain tumors.
Treatment for dementia depends upon the underlying cause. Some medications may be used to temporarily improve dementia symptoms. Some non-drug therapies may include:
- Occupational Therapy: an occupational therapist can teach compensatory strategies and modifications to prevent accidents such as falls
- Environmental Modification: changing the surroundings, such as reducing clutter and noise, may make it easier for someone with dementia to focus better
- Simplify Tasks: breakdown complex tasks and increase structure and routine to reduce confusion in people with dementia