What Are Basics of Dementia?



What is dementia?

Dementia is not a specific disease. It’s a general term that describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to interfere with daily life.  Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia.


What causes dementia?

Dementia is caused by damage to brain cells., which can occur in several areas of the brain. Dementia affects people differently, depending on the area of the brain affected.

Some dementias such as those caused by a reaction to medications or vitamin deficiencies, might improve with treatment.


What are signs and symptoms of dementia?

Signs and symptoms of dementia vary depending on the cause, yet common signs and symptoms include:
1. Cognitive changes

  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Difficulty communicating or finding words
  • Difficulty handling complex tasks
  • Difficulty reasoning or problem-solving
  • Difficulty with planning and organizing
  • Difficulty with coordination and motor functions
  • Memory loss

2. Psychological changes

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Inappropriate behavior
  • Paranoia
  • Personality changes


What are treatment options for dementia?

There are several ways to manage your symptoms:
1. Medications

  • Cholinesterase inhibitors including donepezil (Aricept), rivastigmine (Exelon) and galantamine (Razadyne)
  • Memantine
  • Other medications

2. Therapies

  • Modifying tasks. Structure and routine can help reduce confusion in people with dementia.
  • Modifying the environment. Reducing clutter and noise can make it easier for someone with dementia to focus and function.
  • Occupational therapy. An occupational therapist can tell you how to make your home safer and teach coping behaviors.

To learn more you should go to a medical professional.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.