Dementia can be defined as a chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury and marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and impaired reasoning.
Dementia is progressive which means that it gets worse over time. Dementia occurs in the second half of life, usually over 65 years old. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 50-70% of all dementia cases. Dementia is a broad term, it is not the same as Alzheimer’s disease, but rather accounts for brain syndromes which affect memory, orientation, judgement and communication.
Most types of dementia cannot be cured, but if it is caught early there are treatments including medication which can help to slow it down and maintain mental function.
Symptoms of dementia:
- Memory Loss
- Difficulties in completing tasks
- Lack of empathy
- Decline in thinking speed
- General Confusion when asked to remember specific details
Other types of dementia, other than Alzheimer’s disease include:
- Vascular Dementia – caused by strokes, are periods of recovery within
- Frontotemproal Dementia – behaviour and personality
- Dementia with Lewy Bodies – poor motor control
- Young Onset Dementia – unexpected, affects young families
In the UK, we have an ageing population, so there is an increased need to know more about Dementia, its symptoms and how to help those who are experiencing it as well as their family members.
The risk of dementia can be reduced by keeping healthy in general. Quitting smoking, clean eating, positivity, regular exercise, reducing alcohol intake.