Key Information About Dementia
Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning and behavioral abilities to such an extent that it has a negative impact on the affected person's daily life and activities.
Majority of people affected by dementia experience rejection, loneliness and shame, and feel less competent.
As many as 50 million people across the world have dementia.
About 60 percent to 80 percent of all dementia cases are Alzheimer’s disease. Other types of dementia include Lewy body dementia, vascular dementia and frontotemporal dementia.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease. This means that gradually, over time, more parts of the brain are damaged. As this happens, more symptoms develop, and they also get worse.
Dementia is usually caused by degeneration in the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain responsible for thoughts, memories, actions, and personality. Progressive brain cell death that happens over time is associated with most dementias.
Breakdown of nerve cells and their connections in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain leads to dementia.
Processed cheeses, processed meats, beer, white foods and microwave popcorn increase the risk of dementia.
A long-term study found that midlife obesity raises the risk of dementia in women. The study was led by Sarah Floud, Ph.D., Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, UK.
The team's findings were published in the journal Neurology in the year 2019.
Memory issues (especially loss of memory of recent events), changes in behavior, apathy, inability to focus, confusion, difficulty in learning new information, changes in personality and depression are some symptoms of dementia.
“For someone to be diagnosed with dementia, they have to have significant decline in more than one cognitive area, and those changes have to affect their daily living,” says Elise Caccappolo, Ph.D., an associate professor of neuropsychology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
One of the greatest challenges, when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, is coping with difficult behaviors.— Leslie Kernisan, MD MPH
People displaying symptoms of dementia are given tests to check their mental abilities like memory and thinking. These tests are called cognitive assessments. They may be done initially by your doctor.
There are no medicines to cure dementia. Doctors usually prescribe medication that provides relief from symptoms.
Medicines prescribed include donepezil, rivastigmine, galantamine and memantine.
Unfortunately research on medicines that can be used to treat various forms of dementia and causes has been slow.
It is important for you and your care partner to identify a team of experts who can help with coordinating care and with the legal, financial and emotional challenges brought on by dementia.
A study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Development found having an optimistic spouse might reduce the risk of developing dementia.
Are you taking adequate steps to protect yourself and your loved ones from dementia?
Dementia is the greatest health challenge of our time.— Alzheimer's Research UK
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2019 Srikanth R