Dementia is a term that is used for a wide range of conditions. These conditions present a decline in the mental ability of the patient to a degree that interferes with his or her normal daily life. Therefore, most of the times patients with dementia are actually diagnosed because their family members have sought medical help. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which has affected already millions of people around the world. The second type of dementia commonly known to affect large numbers of patients is the vascular dementia. This is a condition that occurs after a stroke and the damage to the nerve cells caused by the vascular incident.
There is a difference between dementia and senility as many people refer to it. Senility is a normal condition that occurs in people as they age, but it was incorrectly believed in the past that aging is normally accompanied with mental decline.
Symptoms can vary greatly. However, diagnose is made if there are at least two of these core mental functions affected significantly:
- This is the most common mental function affected in this condition. However, memory loss can be caused by other conditions as well, which is why there is the need to have other mental decline symptoms in order to be diagnosed with dementia.
- Communication and language. It is quite common for patients to have difficulties communicating with others and following the conversations.
- Ability to pay attention and keep focused.
- Visual perception.
- Judgment and reasoning. Patients often refuse to believe and trust others.
Problems may also occur in keeping track of wallets, planning meals and doing home chores, short-term memory and learning new skills, leaving home and traveling around the neighborhood without remembering how to come back home afterwards, and more.
It is quite common for symptoms to be progressive and overtime to get worse. Patients can easily get lost or even be a threat to others or their own lives. There are different warning signs that can be noticed in people who may be developing dementia and some of them are the following:
- Memory loss to a degree that disrupts daily life.
- Difficulties in solving problems.
- Difficulties in completing familiar tasks at work or at home.
- Disorientation in time and place.
- Difficulties understanding visual images.
- Problems when using words in speaking and writing.
- Loss of ability to retrace steps and often misplacing objects.
- Poor judgment in everyday life.
- Gradual withdrawal from social activities, as well as work.
- Noticeable changes in personality or mood.
Dementia is a condition caused by damaged nerve cells in the brain. The damage affects the ability of nerve cells to communicate with each other and therefore a lot of brain functions are being affected. Behavior, feelings and thinking are all affected by the lack of normal cell communication.
Researchers have proven that different types of dementia are associated with different areas of the brain that are damaged. For example, the area of the brain affected in patients with Alzheimer’s disease is the hippocampus. This is the center of memory and learning in the brain.
However, there are other areas that we think can be related to the dementia problems which your doctor probably hasn’t checked. These are the following:
- It certainly is no surprise that almost 90% of patients with dementia also have anemia. Therefore, it is important to treat anemia as well in order to get better results with the condition of dementia.
- Intoxication with drugs/medicine. The majority of patients take large numbers of different drugs each day or the so called drug cocktails. It is common for many doctors to prescribe drugs for the condition they treat the patient without properly researching how each of these drugs is interacting with the others. Many side effects of these drugs could be affecting the brain as well, especially when the liver is incapable of fully detoxifying the drugs.
- Chronic inflammation. If there is chronic inflammation anywhere else in the body, chances that inflammation is present in the brain are very high. Chronic brain inflammation can destroy many nerve cells over time causing dementia.
- Autoimmune reactions to nerve tissue in the brain. It is common for our immune system to suddenly treat normal body cells as dangerous ones and create antibodies against them. It is possible the same process to be appearing in your body against your nerve cells in the brain, especially if you already have other autoimmune diseases such as diabetes or thyroiditis.
- Unstable sugar levels in the blood. Even if you are certain your blood sugars are normal and stable, you still need to regularly check in order to be certain. Unstable blood sugar levels can significantly affect the brain and cause damages to the nerve cells.
- Methylation issues. This is a process of converting substances soluble in water into substances that are soluble in fat in order for certain cells to use them and be transported. If this process is interfered chronically, then many immune cells, brain cells and muscle cells will be damaged.
- Lack of proper daily activation of the brain. It is important to keep your brain activated each day with a variety of physical and mental activities. Proper signals need to reach your brain in order to keep each area working properly.
- Thyroid conditions being undiagnosed. It is possible to have a thyroid problem that stays undiagnosed for a long period of time. The thyroid hormones are very important for the proper brain function and if left untreated, rapid mental decline is possible to occur.
The causes for dementia are different in each patient and finding the root problem is essential in dealing with the condition. If you have noticed such changes in your mental state or if you have seen them in somebody close to you, contacting us for a consultation is one of the best options. Dementia is a condition that can be managed if the root causes are also treated properly.