Dementia

Dementia is a general term for loss of memory and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life. It is caused by physical changes in the brain. Alzheimer's is the most common type of dementia, but there are many kinds.

Dementia is a group of conditions characterised by impairment of at least two brain functions, such as memory loss and judgement. Symptoms include forgetfulness, limited social skills and thinking abilities so impaired that it interferes with daily functioning. Medication and therapies may help manage symptoms. Some causes are reversible. The causes of dementia can vary, depending on the types of brain changes that may be taking place. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia in older adults. Other dementias include Lewy body dementia, frontotemporal disorders, and vascular dementia.

It is common for people to have mixed dementia—a combination of two or more types of dementia. For example, some people have both Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. Dementia is a syndrome (a group of related symptoms) associated with an ongoing decline of brain functioning. This may include problems with: memory loss, thinking speed, mental sharpness and quickness, language, understanding, judgement, mood, movement, difficulties carrying out daily activities.

Prevention

There is some evidence that rates of dementia are lower in people who remain as mentally and physically active as possible throughout their lives , and have a wide range of different activities and hobbies. Some activities that may reduce the risk of developing dementia


  • Reading
  • Writing for pleasure
  • Learning foreign languages
  • Playing musical instruments
  • Taking part in adult education courses
  • Playing tennis
  • Playing golf
  • Swimming
  • Group sports , such as bowling


Helping self

  • Keep a dairy and write down things you want to remember
  • Pin a weekly timetable to the wall
  • Put your keys in an obvious place such as a large bowl in the hall
  • Have a daily newspaper delivered to remind you of the date and day
  • Put labels on cupboards and drawers
  • Place helpful telephone numbers by the phone
  • Write reminders to yourself , e.g. put a note on front door to take the keys


Alzheimer’s Dementia

Normal brain cells are replaced with damaged tissue called plaques and tangles


  • Specific problem with memory and thinking
  • Learning new information becomes harder
  • Forgetting names of people /places and difficulty to communicate
  • Changes in personality


Vascular Dementia

The problems caused by vascular dementia depends upon which part of the brain is affected


  • Memory loss
  • Poor concentration
  • Word finding difficulties
  • Mood Swings
  • Depression
  • Sometimes hallucination