What is dementia?

 

Dementia is a term which is usually used to describe a decline in mental ability which is as severe as to affect the individuals’ everyday life. It has been stated that most of the cases of dementia are due to Alzheimer’s disease. Another common type is vascular dementia, which may be a consequence of a stroke. However, these are not the only types of dementia.

 

Stages

Dementia has different stages that describe the progress of an individual’s disease. It is very important to determine the correct stage, since there are a lot of things that depend on this. For example, physicians determine the best treatment approach according to the stage of dementia.

It is said that there are three different stages: the early one (or “mild”), the middle one (or “moderate”) and the late one (or “severe”). The symptoms are those that usually help doctors diagnose what stage the patient is in.

Causes

It is difficult to find out what has caused dementia, but still, there are some common causes. These consist of degenerative neurological diseases, which include Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease or Parkinson’s disease. Vascular disorders may also cause dementia.

Serious injuries that were caused by accidents or falls may leave traumas to the brain. After this, there is a possibility of a decline in the mental ability. HIV, meningitis and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease may also have dementia as a consequence, since they are infections that affect the central nervous system.

Believe it or not, but long-time alcohol or drug use also increases the risk of getting dementia.

 

Symptoms

The early signs of dementia may not even be noticed, because usually they are vague. Memory loss is one of the first symptoms. Of course, it is about forgetting things very often or not remembering events at all. Another symptom is that a person with dementia will find it very hard to get a task done. It may be hard for him or her to follow the steps required for cleaning the house.

Forgetting simple words and using inappropriate ones may also be a sign of the disease. Sometimes it may be hard for individuals suffering from this even to make full sentences and they can also find it difficult to understand the others.  

 

However, even if it happens to an individual to have these symptoms, it does not mean that it is a case of dementia. There are other diseases that have similar symptoms, including depression, infections or hormonal disorders. This is why it is very important to be seen by a physician if these symptoms are present. The individual will not be able to diagnose the condition by himself or herself.