Dementia is a term used to describe a group of symptoms that affect memory, thinking, and social skills enough to interfere with your daily life It is not a specific disease, but several diseases can cause dementia Although dementia often involves memory loss, memory loss has different causes. Memory loss alone does not mean that you have dementia, although it is often one of the first signs of the disease.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of progressive dementia in older people, but there are many other causes of dementia. Depending on the cause, some symptoms of dementia may be reversible.
Symptoms of dementia vary depending on the cause, but common signs and symptoms include:
Cognitive changes; memory loss, usually noticed by others, difficulty communicating or finding words, visual and spatial ability issues, such as getting lost while driving, difficulty reasoning or problem solving, difficulty managing complex tasks, d, difficulty planning and organizing, c, coordination and motor disorders; confusion and disorientation, psychological changes, personality change, depressed, anxiety, m, misconduct, paranoid, hustle and hallucination.
Consult your doctor if you or a loved one has memory problems or other symptoms of dementia. Some treatable conditions can cause symptoms of dementia, so it's important to determine the cause. Dementia is caused by damage or loss of nerve cells and their connections in the brain Dementia affects people differently and causes different symptoms, depending on which part of the brain is damaged.
Dementia is often grouped together based on what they have in common, such as protein deposits or proteins in the brain or the parts of the brain that are affected. Some conditions resemble dementia, such as those caused by drug reactions or vitamin deficiencies, and they may improve with treatment.
Alzheimer's disease It is the most common cause of dementia
Although not all of the causes of Alzheimer's disease are known, experts know that a small number are linked to mutations in three genes that can be passed from parent to child While several genes may be associated with Alzheimer's disease, one important gene that increases risk is apolipoprotein E4 (APOE)
Alzheimer's patients have plaques and tangles in their brains Plaques are clumps of a protein called beta-amyloid, while tangles are tangles of fibrils made up of tau protein These clumps are thought to damage healthy neurons and the fibers that connect them.
Vascular dementia This type of dementia is caused by damage to the blood vessels that supply the brain Blood vessel problems can cause a stroke or otherwise affect the brain, such as destroying the brain's white matter fibers. The most common signs of vascular dementia include problem solving, slowed thinking, and loss of concentration and organization This is often more obvious than memory loss.
Dementia with Lewy bodies. Lewy bodies are abnormal, balloon-shaped clumps of protein found in the brains of people with dementia with Lewy bodies, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease This is a more common type of progressive dementia Common signs and symptoms include dreaming while sleeping, seeing things that aren't there (visual hallucinations), and trouble concentrating. Other signs include uncoordinated or slow movements, tremors and stiffness (Parkinson's disease).
Frontotemporal dementia It is a group of disorders characterized by damage to nerve cells and their connections in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain These domains are often associated with personality, behavior and language Common symptoms affect behavior, personality, thinking, judgment, speech, and movement mixed dementia Autopsy studies of the brains of people aged 80 and over with dementia have shown that many have multiple causes, such as Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies. Research is ongoing to determine how mixed dementia affects symptoms and treatment.
There is no sure way to prevent dementia, but there are things you can do to help More research is needed, but the following actions might help.
Keep your mind active Mental stimulation activities such as reading, solving puzzles and word games, as well as memory training, can delay the onset of dementia and lessen its effects Be physically and socially active Physical activity and social interaction can delay the onset of dementia and reduce its symptoms Aim for 150 minutes of exercise each week stop smoking Several studies have shown that smoking in middle age and later increases the risk of dementia and vascular disease. Quitting smoking can reduce your risk and improve your health.
Get enough vitamins Several studies have shown that people with low blood levels of vitamin D are more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia You can get vitamin D through certain foods, supplements, and exposure to sunlight.
More research is needed before increasing vitamin D intake can be recommended for preventing dementia, but it's a good idea to make sure you're getting enough. Taking daily B-complex vitamins and vitamin C can also help
Manage cardiovascular risk factors Treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes If you are overweight, lose weight.
High blood pressure increases the risk of certain types of dementia More research is needed to determine whether treating high blood pressure can reduce the risk of dementia.
Treating a medical condition. Consult a doctor in case of depression or anxiety Maintain a healthy diet A diet like the Mediterranean diet — rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and omega-3 fatty acids, often found in some fish and nuts — can improve health and reduce the risk of dementia.
This diet may also improve cardiovascular health, which may help reduce the risk of dementia. Get quality sleep Practice good sleep hygiene and see your doctor if you snore loudly or stop breathing or gasp for periods of time while sleeping. Treat hearing problems People who are hard of hearing are more likely to experience cognitive decline Early treatment for hearing loss, such as using hearing aids, can help reduce the risk.
This article is written and submitted to The E Today by Shrushti Mehta.
We thank her for her research and analysis and hope to see the awareness about health and nutrition being spread ahead to larger mass of our citizens.