What is Dementia - Stages, Causes, and Symptoms
What is Dementia
Dementia is a syndrome caused by reduction in brain function in areas where communication, memory and problem solving occur. For example, Alzheimer is a form of dementia. Causes can be from vessel damage in the brain and damaged brain cells. It typically occurs slowly, increasing over time.
Our family went through a very difficult time when my husband's beloved Grandmother began experiencing memory loss and mood swings which lead to her first diagnosis of the beginning stages of Alzheimer disease. She began to have panic attacks and rages. This women who had been so sweet spirited her whole life began to experience so many of these confusing symptoms. At first she was diagnosed with Alzheimer disease, then they believed it was an adverse reaction to her medication, ultimately she was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. This was a very sad end to such a beautiful woman who gave so much of herself all of her life.
Please read on.....
Types and Causes of Dementia
Dementia can be a very serious problem.
Dementia is a syndrome that describes a decrease in brain function in the areas of memory, communication, language and problem solving and is believed to be caused by brain cell damage and or brain cell death. There are different types of dementia, the classifications are determined by rate of progression and symptoms. Causes vary and can include; drug use, head trauma, brain cell death from disease, and genetics. Most forms of dementia are not reversible. These forms include some brain injuries, drug abuse, and brain infections.
Some Causes of Dementia
Drug use Studies show that long term use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco lead to dementia in the aged. This includes prescription medicines and cannabis.The use and over use of certain drugs kills brain cell, long term use can be irreversible.
Head Trauma Severe head trauma can cause immediate symptoms of dementia. There are also studies that suggest that even head trauma that does not immediately result in dementia may surface in the long term.
Other Causes of Dementia
AIDS, low blood sugar, stress, nutritional deficits, lack of sleep, infections and inflammation, among others
Diseases associated with dementia are;
Alzheimers Disease This disease normally affects people over the age of 65 and is incurable. It is diagnosed through a set of standardized tests administered by a trained health care worker. There are 7 stages recognized in the progression of this disease. 1 being no symptoms and 7 being the most severe symptoms and with 1+ years death. Persons diagnosed with Alzheimer Disease normally live 3 to 20 years after diagnosis.
Vascular Dementia Vascular dementia is generally caused by decreased obstructed blood flow n the blood vessels to the brain. This is most commonly associated by a stroke(blockage of blood flow through a vessel in the brain). There are other causes not commonly associated such as; smoking, drug use, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Parkinson's Disease Parkinson's disease is a brain disorder in which symptoms include; shaking, tremors, and loss of muscle control.This disease occurs when nerve cells that use dopamine die off. The dopamine helps to control muscle movement and results in the related symptoms. Very often dementia is also a resulting symptom, but not always.
This is a very brief overview of the causes and symptoms of dementia. Dementia can be debilitating and very frustrating to the individual and such individual's families. There are a wide range of disorders and diseases which cause dementia. Treatments for dementia have a long road ahead of them before total success is obtained. There are many successes and failures in the study and treatment of dementia, as scientists continue their work the road will get a little shorter, I wish them success.
Michael J Fox
More information on Dementia and related diseases
- Overview | Alzheimer's Association
Overview | Alzheimer's Association
- Vascular Dementia: Signs, Symptoms, Prevention, and Treatment
Provides vascular dementia symptoms, causes and prognosis, including self-help tips for people with the disorder and their caregivers.
- Parkinson's disease - MayoClinic.com
Parkinson's disease — Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, causes, treatment of this progressive movement disorder.
- Dementia - PubMed Health
PubMed Health specializes in reviews of clinical effectiveness research, with easy-to-read summaries for consumers as well as full technical reports. Clinical effectiveness research finds answers to the question What works? in medical and health care