Dementia is a term used to define symptoms that lead to a person’s memory loss and the ability to perform, think, work, remember the reasoning, language, and behavior in society. It later affects essential brain parts, such as the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus—both of these parts of the brain help in performing our daily activities. Hence, weakening these parts of the brain affects the person’s everyday life.
How dementia could affect your daily life?
Dementia can affect your daily work and life big time. It involves little things at the early stages, such as not being able to make your bed or having trouble doing your laces. Moreover, having difficulty recognizing the names of your close friends and family members can be pretty astonishing and troublesome for the person with dementia which can cause insomnia and anxiety, leading to depression.
So it’s better to seek medical help when you start to notice these early minor signs of dementia. If you are an adult living all on your own and see such changes in your personality, waste no time telling a friend or a family member. So, they arrange a personal home care assistant for you.
What are the different types of dementia?
Listed below are the different kinds of dementia. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia and there’s an 60 to 80 percent chance that a dementia patient has Alzheimer’s disease.
Most people think of dementia like Alzheimer’s.
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Vascular dementia
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Huntington’s Disease
- Lewy body dementia
- Mixed dementia
1. Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia. Its symptoms include memory loss, trouble identifying familiar things, forgetting the names of close family members or friends. Like most dementia types, it also has stages, and if not controlled by medicines, it can deteriorate. This type of dementia can be inherited, and family history can significantly cause this disease.
The following examples may help in identifying Alzheimer disease at an early stage,
- Forgetting the way to your neighborhood
- Constantly forgetting names of very close family members
- Having trouble doing everyday work
- Forgetting the past
- Repeating a thing which was done a few minutes before
- Forgetting what was said a few moments ago.
- Having trouble identifying, judging, communicating, remembering, etc.
2. Vascular dementia
People diagnosed with this type of dementia have a history of brain injury, a severe stroke, mini-stroke, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. This also results in vascular dementia. Unlike Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia starts with difficulty communicating and trouble in decision-making, organizing things, etc.
This type of dementia cannot be cured, but it can stop from worsening. If another stroke occurs, it can worsen.
Following examples help in identifying vascular dementia at an early stage,
- Trouble identifying
- Trouble organizing everyday things
- Trouble communicating
- Getting confused while speaking
- Trouble sleeping
- Not being able to control urine
- Difficulty in planning, ordering and analyzing a situation
3. Frontotemporal dementia
The person with Frontotemporal dementia has established damage in brain cells, resulting in difficulty speaking and judging, etc. The person with this disorder may sometimes burst out with emotions and nasty words to lose control.
Following examples help in identifying frontotemporal dementia at an early stage,
- Sudden personality variations
- Trouble with language skills
- Losing control over emotions
- Having trouble maintaining balance
- Trouble in moving
- Sudden shivering in the body
4. Huntington’s Disease
Like vascular disease, Huntington’s disease also becomes a cause of dementia, resulting from family history. It is inherited from a close family member and shows symptoms right after your 20s end.
People with Huntington disease get the same symptoms as other dementia;
- Loss of concentration
- Loss of memory
- Trouble organizing, planning, managing situations
5. Lewy body dementia (LBD)
This type of dementia happens when very unusual protein deposits into the brain. These proteins are microscopic and cannot be seen with the naked eye. This abnormal procedure disrupts natural brain activities such as memory loss, slowing down everyday activities, and much more.
Following activities can help identify LBD at an early stage,
- Performing everyday tasks slow, such as eating for hours
- Forget what they have said
- Blanking out or constantly getting zoned out
- A person with severe LBD may have hallucinations as well
- Having dreams where you act out in sleep; kicking, punching, walking, etc.
6. Mixed dementia
This type of dementia is a combination of two or more diseases, generally Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.
Mixed dementia is found mainly in people over 70 – 80 ages as they have suffered a stroke and usually have high blood pressure, etc. They have the same symptoms as seen in Alzheimer’s and vascular diseases.
More causes of dementia
Scientists have found more diseases that cause dementia or symptoms similar to dementia. These include,
|More causes of dementia||Description|
|HIV-associated dementia||As the name suggests, it happens when the HIV virus spreads to the whole body and gets to the brain. It damages the brain’s normal functioning, such as walking, talking, speaking, language, emotions, memory loss, etc.|
|Chronic traumatic encephalopathy||This disorder has not yet been studied that well, but it is mainly caused by any trauma, brain, or head injury.|
|Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease||This disease has almost the same symptoms as the one in Alzheimer’s. It is caused when brain proteins transform into abnormal shapes and deform.|
|Argyrophilic grain disease||This disorder occurs due to the weakening of the brain and other organs.|
|Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome||It is caused by a shortage of vitamin b1 in the body and usually in people with heavy drinking problems.|
|Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus||This sort of disorder is curable, caused by a liquid build-up in the brain; once the liquid is drained out, it can be cured.|
As seen above, it is difficult to identify how many different types of dementia there are as many diseases and disorders that lead to dementia. Not every type of dementia can be cured, but everything becomes more manageable if dealt with love and care.
Is dementia an illness, disease, or disorder?
Dementia is, also known as Major Neurocognitive Disorder (MND), is the deterioration of cognitive domains; information, perception; application; examination, combining; and assessment. Dementia is not a disease, somewhat an overall term, a collection of some symptoms that affects a person’s memory. Dementia has Its types, and they vary in symptoms and severity; some contain hope of curability; however, others can be managed, and their deterioration process can be slowed down.
Experts define the disease as a disorder in the normal functioning of any organ. Specific causes and symptoms follow it. The disease is related to particular symptoms and reasoning.
As the word itself suggests, any part of the body’s disrupted functioning is called a disorder.
The syndrome is a set of different medical conditions and symptoms; these conditions may correlate and are often related to a disease or a disorder.
Hence dementia is considered a syndrome, a collection of conditions, symptoms, and disorders.
Dementia, in short, is a loss in the Cognitive Functions as well as in the ability to think, remember and reason with something. To prevent this, it is advised to take less red meat, alcohol, caffeine, butter, fried and fast food. Moreover, eating more green leafy veggies, exercising, avoiding smoking, keeping your mind and body active also results in preventing dementia.
Apart from this, people who lack vitamin D and B-17 are more likely to develop symptoms of dementia.
Concluding from the above discussion, dementia is not part of normal aging. If it is diagnosed at an early age, its process may be slowed down. If you are a caretaker of someone with dementia, I suggest handling your loved one with care and love. As Love can cure half of any disease.