What Is Dementia Like?

Q:
What is dementia like?

A:
Dementia is a general term to describe symptoms of impairment in memory, communication, and thinking. In fact, it is a symptom of several underlying diseases and brain disorders. Though dementia mostly affects older people, it is not a normal part of aging.

What are the symptoms?

A person with dementia may show any of the symptoms listed below, mostly due to memory loss.

  • Recent memory loss
  • Forgetting simple words or using the wrong ones
  • Getting lost on a previously familiar street
  • Forgetting the location of everyday items such as keys, or wallets
  • Sudden and unexplained changes in moods
  • Personality changes, perhaps becoming irritable, suspicious or fearful
  • Less interest in starting something or going somewhere

Unfortunately, as the patient ages, the symptoms tend to worsen.

What are the causes?

Dementias can be caused by brain cell death, and neurodegenerative disease.

  • a head injury
  • a stroke
  • a brain tumor
  • HIV infection
  • reversible factors, such as medication interactions, depression, vitamin deficiencies, and thyroid abnormalities.

When you or a loved one is experiencing memory difficulties or other changes in thinking skills, don’t ignore them. See a doctor soon to determine the cause and treatment. Also, remember, early diagnosis allows a person to get the maximum benefit from available treatments.

 

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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.