Where To Get Help
- Your local community health centre
- National Dementia Helpline Dementia Australia Tel. 1800 100 500
- Aged Care Assessment Services Tel. 1300 135 090
- My Aged Care 1800 200 422
- Cognitive Dementia and Memory Service clinics Tel. 1300 135 090
- Carers Victoria Tel. 1800 242 636
- Commonwealth Carelink and Respite Centres Australian Government Tel. 1800 052 222
- Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service Tel. 1800 699 799 for 24-hour telephone advice for carers and care workers
Early Symptoms Of Dementia
Although the early signs vary, common early symptoms of dementia include:
- memory problems, particularly remembering recent events
- increasing confusion
- apathy and withdrawal or depression
- loss of ability to do everyday tasks.
Sometimes, people fail to recognise that these symptoms indicate that something is wrong. They may mistakenly assume that such behaviour is a normal part of the ageing process. Symptoms may also develop gradually and go unnoticed for a long time. Also, some people may refuse to act, even when they know something is wrong.
What Causes Vascular Dementia
Vascular dementia is caused by a lack of blood flow to a part of the brain. Blood flow may be decreased or interrupted by:
- Blood clots
- Bleeding because of a ruptured blood vessel
- Damage to a blood vessel from atherosclerosis, infection, high blood pressure, or other causes, such as an autoimmune disorder
CADASIL is a genetic disorder that generally leads to dementia of the vascular type. One parent with the gene for CADASIL passes it on to a child, which makes it an autosomal-dominant inheritance disorder. It affects the blood vessels in the white matter of the brain. Symptoms, such as migraine headaches, seizures, and severe depression, generally start when a person is in his or her mid-30s but, symptoms may not appear until later in life.
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How Dementia Locks People Inside Their Pain
When a person feels pain but doesnt understand it, they can end up silently suffering.
On her first night home from the hospital, between bouts of writhing in pain, my grandmother stopped to ask me, over and over, Quest-ce que jai fait?: What did I do?
My grandmother, Denise, is 82 and in the late stages of Alzheimers disease, which means she can no longer form new memories. Late last summerits impossible to say when, exactlyshe fell and fractured a vertebra. Immediately, she forgot it had happened. Pain became the falls only remnant evidence. It took my family weeks, and two hospital trips, to understand why shed stopped eating or getting out of bed.
In anticipation of her second discharge from the hospital, I traveled to France to take care of her. When I arrived at the apartment where she lived alone, I was entirely unprepared for how intensely the Alzheimers could amplify her suffering.
My grandmothers throat rattled with every breath. She moaned in her sleep. In childlike tantrums, she kicked her legs and flailed her arms when I tried to get her out of bed to eat. She developed a cough so intense that it sounded, from a room away, like vomiting, and sometimes did turn into vomiting as her body tried to convulse the pain away. She couldnt tell day from night, and she got lost in her own home, even in her own bedroom.
Stage : Age Associated Memory Impairment
This stage features occasional lapses of memory most frequently seen in:
- Forgetting where one has placed an object
- Forgetting names that were once very familiar
Oftentimes, this mild decline in memory is merely normal age-related cognitive decline, but it can also be one of the earliest signs of degenerative dementia. At this stage, signs are still virtually undetectable through clinical testing. Concern for early onset of dementia should arise with respect to other symptoms.
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Difficulty Forming The Words To Speak
When people who used to be fluent and could speak smoothly stop being able to produce language that way, this may be a sign of dementia, says Rankin. Despite this symptom, patients are often crystal clear in other areas. They can run a business, manage their family, or draw beautifully, but they have increased difficulty actually forming the words to speak.
Can Alcohol Intoxication Cause Dementia
Alcohol dementia can appear to people of all ages, regardless of gender, height or body type. It can result from consuming alcoholic beverages in great quantities, including beer, wine, liquor, spirits, and more. Drinking small amounts of alcohol doesnt lead to this dangerous medical condition, so having a few drinks per week is considered to be safe.
Alcohol-induced dementia can be acquired if one gets intoxicated with alcohol regularly. This type of intoxication depletes the nutrients in the body, causes brain damage and seriously affects the function of major organs such as liver, kidneys, pancreas, and more. Each persons body can handle alcohol intoxication differently, but ultimately too much alcohol can lead to serious health conditions.
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Staring With Reduced Gaze And Trouble Reading
Reduced gaze is the clinical term for the dementia symptom that alters peoples ability to move their eyes normally. We all move our eyes and track with them frequently, says Rankin. But people showing early signs of dementia look like theyre staring a lot. Rankin adds that, they try to read and they skip lines. This is one of the signs of dementia that the patient might not completely be aware of, although people around them probably will be.
How To Treat And Prevent Alcoholic Dementia
Alcohol dementia treatment can be quite stressful for patients to undertake, but it is necessary to prevent more dangerous health problems and even death. The alcoholism treatment consists of IV therapies and infusions which attempt to reestablish the proper nutritional balance of the body. Patients need to stay in clinics or hospitals for certain periods where they will be closely monitored and treated. Alcohol must be avoided at all costs during the treatment period, a thing which most alcohol abusers find very hard to do. This happens because alcohol addicts have become so used to this toxic substance that the body craves it regularly. Alcoholism support groups are very helpful in these cases.
Dementia from alcohol abuse can also be treated with Thiamine therapy which brings the much-needed nutrients back into a sufferers body. This treatment improves the neurological functioning of the patient and prevents dementia from advancing to more dangerous stages. Patients must also receive proper counsel from professional therapists to discover the root causes of their alcohol addiction and to eliminate them. If proper treatment is administered on time, alcoholic abusers might have a chance of living an alcohol-free and happy life. The rehabilitation facility for alcoholics is the best option to contact to learn more about the recovery process.
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Falling More Frequently Than You Used To
Constantly tripping over your own two feet? Everyone falls now and again but frequent falling could be an early signal of Alzheimers disease, according to research. A study published in July 2013 in the journal Neurology found that presumptive preclinical Alzheimers disease is a risk factor for falls in older adults. People will come into our office concerned because they forgot what was on their grocery list last week, but when their spouse says theyve fallen four times in the past year, thats a sign of a problem, says Rankin. Frequent falls may also be a symptom of other brain disorders, including progressive supranuclear palsy.
How Can Dementia Affect Drinking
Someone with dementia may become dehydrated if theyre unable to communicate or recognise that theyre thirsty, or if they forget to drink. This can lead to headaches, increased confusion, urinary tract infections and constipation. These can make the symptoms of dementia worse.
As people get older the sensation of thirst changes. This can mean they dont feel thirsty even though theyre not drinking enough. Someone with dementia may experience similar changes. They may be less able or likely to get themselves a drink.
Placing a drink in front of someone doesnt always mean they will drink it. Also, an empty cup doesnt always mean that the person has finished the drink. It may have been spilled, drunk by someone else, or poured away.
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What Are Tumors And Subdural Hematomas
Brain tumors can arise from any number of conditions or situations, including any tumor inside the cranium, or in the central spinal canal. They can be cancerous or non-cancerous in nature. Any kind of brain tumor can pose a serious risk to an individual’s health and life, due to its invasive nature.
A subdural hematoma is a clot of blood just beneath the outer covering of the brain. Usually occurring in patients over the age of 60, these clots typically form in conjunction with an atrophy of the brain.
Minor head trauma can damage the brain surface’s blood vessels, and slowly accumulate blood over several days. Most often, SDHs become very large before they are noticed because of the lack of symptoms in the early stages.
What Is Vascular Dementia
Vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease. It’s caused when decreased blood flow damages brain tissue. Blood flow to brain tissue may be reduced by a partial blockage or completely blocked by a blood clot.
Symptoms of vascular dementia may develop gradually, or may become apparent after a stroke or major surgery, such as heart bypass surgery or abdominal surgery.
Dementia and other related diseases and conditions are hard to tell apart because they share similar signs and symptoms. Although vascular dementia is caused by problems with blood flow to the brain, this blood flow problem can develop in different ways. Examples of vascular dementia include:
- Mixed dementia. This type occurs when symptoms of both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s exist.
- Multi-infarct dementia. This occurs after repeated small, often “silent,” blockages affect blood flow to a certain part of the brain. The changes that occur after each blockage may not be apparent, but over time, the combined effect starts to cause symptoms of impairment. Multi-infarct dementia is also called vascular cognitive impairment.
Researchers think that vascular dementia will become more common in the next few decades because:
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Migraine And Dementia: Are They Linked
- Alzheimers disease is the sixth-leading cause of death for adults in the United States.
- Now a new study finds that one risk factor of dementia is migraine.
- But experts point out even people with chronic migraine can take steps to decrease their risk for dementia.
Migraine attacks are a problem for millions of Americans each year, but the long-term impact of this sometimes debilitating condition has been unclear.
Now a new study published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry suggests that migraine, the most common neurological disorder across all ages, is an important risk factor of dementia, especially Alzheimers disease.
Alzheimers disease is the sixth-leading cause of death among all U.S. adults and the fifth-leading cause for people ages 65 or older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Theres no current cure for this degenerative neurological condition.
Suzanne L. Tyas, PhD, from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, and senior author of the study, told Healthline that this early research may help experts better predict whos at risk for this disease.
Our results show that we should be paying attention to migraines in Alzheimers disease, and that this future research is warranted to fully understand what it is about migraines that affect Alzheimers disease, and how we can mitigate this risk, Tyas said.
After tracking them for 5 years, they found 51 of them had developed dementia.
Headaches Due To Referred Pain
Some headaches can be caused by pain in some other part of the head, such as tooth or ear pain, pain in the jaw joint and pains in the neck.
Sinusitis is a common cause. The sinuses are ‘holes’ in the skull which are there to stop it from being too heavy for the neck to carry around. They are lined with mucous membranes, like the lining of your nose, and this produces mucus in response to colds or allergy. The lining membranes also swell up and may block the drainage of the mucus from the space. It then becomes thickened and infected, leading to headache. The headache of sinusitis is often felt at the front of the head and also in the face or teeth. Often the face feels tender to pressure, particularly just below the eyes and beside the nose. You may have a stuffy nose and the pain is often worse when you bend forwards. Acute sinusitis is the type that comes on quickly in association with a cold or sudden allergy. You may have a temperature and be producing a lot of mucus. Chronic sinusitis can be caused by allergy, by overusing decongestants or by an acute sinusitis that doesn’t settle. The sinuses become chronically infected and the sinus linings chronically swollen. The contents of the sinuses may be thick but often not infected.
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Migraines: Can Dementia Stroke Or Heart Attack Be Next
New Harvard research confirms some links, rejects others.
Two new studies from Harvard examine the possible associations between migraine headaches and other conditions. One study offers encouraging news: the headaches will not hurt thinking skills. Another study suggests a warning: the headaches, when accompanied by aura, may signal an increased risk of heart attacks and stroke. “After high blood pressure, migraine with aura was the second strongest single contributor to the risk of heart attacks and strokes,” says study author Dr. Tobias Kurth, adjunct associate professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. “It was followed by diabetes, family history, smoking, and obesity.”
The Start And Progression Of Alcoholic Dementia
Dementia caused by alcoholism can appear to people of all ages, and it usually starts as a result of abusing alcohol regularly for many years. Alcohol addicts develop the Wernickes encephalopathy first, and then this causes the Korsakoff syndrome. Ultimately, the serious memory problems caused by Korsakoff syndrome will lead to alcoholic dementia. The process takes time to develop, but it can be an incurable disease. The Wernickes encephalopathy appears because heavy drinkers lose thiamine from the body as a result of frequent and long binge drinking episodes. Most alcohol addicts do not replenish this vital substance , and as a result, alcoholic dementia can appear.
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The Link Between Dementia And Vertigo
Memory loss in itself can be terrifying, especially as you get older. No one wants to think theyre on the road to dementia and forgetting all the things they once loved. But adding in other issues, such as vertigo, can make this transition even scarier for you.
This is where our skilled team comes in. At the Neurology Center for Epilepsy and Seizures, we aim to help you navigate your symptoms and land on a diagnosis. Dr. Amor Mehta helps you understand whats going on with your body and gives you realistic treatment options.
What Is The Life Expectancy For Dementia Can It Be Cured
There is no cure for dementia.
- Although Alzheimer’s disease is listed as the 6th most common cause of death in the U.S.. Patients with Alzheimer’s disease most commonly die due to infections caused by lack of mobility.
- Pneumonia, bladder infections, bedsores, and other causes can lead to more wide-spread infection and subsequent death.
- Patients with dementias have widely varying life expectancies, depending on the underlying cause of their dementia. Life expectancy can range from only 1 to 2 years to more than 15 years the average duration of the disease is between 4 and 8 years after diagnosis.
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Stage : Mild Cognitive Impairment
Clear cognitive problems begin to manifest in stage 3. A few signs of stage 3 dementia include:
- Getting lost easily
- Noticeably poor performance at work
- Forgetting the names of family members and close friends
- Difficulty retaining information read in a book or passage
- Losing or misplacing important objects
- Difficulty concentrating
Patients often start to experience mild to moderate anxiety as these symptoms increasingly interfere with day to day life. Patients who may be in this stage of dementia are encouraged to have a clinical interview with a clinician for proper diagnosis.
Having Migraines Raises The Risk Of Dementia Study Finds
As if migraines didn’t already cause enough suffering, a new study has found that people who experience the debilitating headaches are at much higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
The study from two Canadian universitiesthe Universities of Waterloo and Manitobafound that migraine sufferers were three times more likely to have a general dementia diagnosis and four times more likely to have Alzheimer’s disease than peers without migraines. The headaches, however, were not associated with vascular dementia, a type of dementia caused by damaged blood vessels in the brain. Dementia is an umbrella term that includes both Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia as well as less common types of cognitive decline.
Put another way, the study found that 24% of participants with Alzheimer’s disease and only 10% of those without dementia had a history of migraines.
The study, published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, analyzed data from 679 older people who participated in the Manitoba Study of Health and Aging. The patients were followed for five years in the 1990s, and 51 developed dementia. Migraine was self-reported, but study subjects received extensive evaluations for dementia, said senior researcher Suzanne Tyas, an associate professor in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo.
Migraines have previously been linked to a higher likelihood of having heart attacks, stroke, seizures, and some mental health problems.
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