Dementia – Everything You Need To Know

Dementia describes a collection of symptoms affecting thinking, memory, and social abilities severely that it interferes with your routine. It is not a particular disease; however, many different conditions may cause dementia.

Gurneet Sawhney Created on 11th Oct, 21

Many people in India have dementia. Are you or your loved one having this condition as well? In this article, we are going to discuss dementia, its causes and its symptoms.


So, let us begin by understanding what dementia is.


What is Dementia?

Dementia describes a collection of symptoms affecting thinking, memory, and social abilities severely that it interferes with your routine. It is not a particular disease; however, many different conditions may cause dementia.


Though dementia usually involves memory loss, having it alone does not mean you have dementia.


Alzheimer’s disease is the most general progressive dementia cause in older adults in India. However, there are several other causes of dementia as well.


Based on the cause, few dementia symptoms may be reversible. So, let us understand the symptoms of dementia.


Symptoms of Dementia

Dementia symptoms differ based on the cause, yet common symptoms and signs involve:


1 . Cognitive changes

  • Memory loss, which a spouse or someone else usually notices
  • Problems while finding words or communicating
  • Problems with spatial and visual abilities, like becoming lost while driving
  • Problems problem-solving or reasoning
  • Problems handling complex works
  • Problems with organizing and planning
  • Problems with motor functions and coordination
  • Disorientation and Confusion

2 . Psychological changes

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

Now that you know what causes dementia let us understand what causes this condition.


What Causes Dementia?

Any damage or loss of nerve cells and their connections in the brain causes dementia. The brain area affected depends on the site of damage; dementia can affect everyone differently and cause various symptoms.


Dementias are grouped by what they have in common, like the protein or proteins deposited in your brain or your brain’s part that’s affected. Few diseases appear like dementias, including those that react to medicines or vitamin deficiencies causes, and they may improve with treatment.


Progressive dementias

Forms of dementias that progress and are not reversible involve:


(i) Alzheimer’s disease:

Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease patients have tangles and plaques in their brains. Plaques are clumps of a protein known as beta-amyloid, and tangles are fibrous tangles created from tau protein. 


It is thought that these clumps damage healthy neurons and the fibers linking them. Other genetic factors may make it more likely that individuals will build Alzheimer’s disease.


(ii) Vascular dementia:

Damage to the vessels that blood supply to your brain causes this second most common dementia’s form. Blood vessel issues can bring strokes or damage the brain in various ways, like by damaging the fibres in the brain’s white matter.


(iii) Lewy body dementia:

Lewy bodies are abnormal balloons like protein clumps found in the brains of people with Lewy body dementia. Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease are among the more common forms of progressive dementia


Other disorders linked to dementia

(i) Huntington’s disease:

A genetic mutation causes this condition. The disease causes nerve cells inside your brain and spinal cord to waste away. Symptoms involve a severe decline in cognitive (thinking) skills, often appearing around age thirty or forty.


(ii) Traumatic brain injury (TBI):

Repetitive head trauma usually causes this condition. People, including boxers, soldiers, or football players, may experience TBI. Symptoms depend on the part of the brain that is injured. The signs and symptoms may include explosiveness, depression, impaired speech, and memory loss. TBI may cause parkinsonism. Also, you might not have any symptoms till years after the trauma.


How can you Prevent Dementia?

There is no right way to stop dementia; however, you can take steps that may help. More research is required, but it may be effective to do the following:


Keep your mind active:
Mentally stimulating activities, like solving puzzles, reading, playing word games, and memory training may delay the onset of dementia and reduce its effects.


Be physically and socially active:
Social interaction and physical activity may delay the onset of dementia and decrease its symptoms. Move more and aim for one fifty minutes of exercise a week.


Quit smoking:
Few studies have shown that smoking in middle age and beyond may raise your dementia’s risk and vascular (blood vessel) conditions. Quitting smoking may decrease your risk and will better your health.


Get enough vitamins:
Few researches indicate that individuals with low levels of vitamin D in their blood are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia’s form. You can acquire vitamin D through some foods, supplements, and sun exposure.


Manage cardiovascular risk factors:
Treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high body mass index (BMI). High blood pressure may lead to a higher risk of few forms of dementia. More research is required to find whether treating high blood pressure may decrease dementia’s risk.


Treat health conditions:
Consult your specialist for treatment if you experience hearing loss, anxiety, or depression.


Maintain a healthy diet:
Consuming a healthy diet is essential for several reasons. However, a diet like the Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and omega-3 fatty acids- may encourage health and decrease your risk of building dementia. 


This form of diet also enhances cardiovascular health, which may help lessen dementia risk. Try consuming fatty fish like salmon three times a week and a handful of nuts particularly walnuts and almonds daily.


Get quality sleep:
Practice a good sleep routine, and consult your specialist if you snore loudly or have periods where you gasp during sleep or stop breathing Consult a neurosurgeon in Mumbai if you or a loved one has memory issues or other dementia symptoms. Some treatable medical conditions can cause dementia symptoms, so it is essential to find the underlying cause.



Relevant Questions

Q. What could be the underlying causes of stroke?

The onset of atherosclerosis with increasing age increases the chances of stroke greatly. The other risk factors include consumption of tobacco, reduced physical activity, unhealthy diet, excessive intake of alcohol, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, obesity, male gender coupled with genetic and psychological reasons.

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