How Are Rpds Treated
Treatment depends on the type of RPD that was diagnosed. For example, if the RPD is the result of cancer or a hormone imbalance, treatments that target these specific conditions may help treat the RPD. Unfortunately, for many causes of RPD, there is no cure available. For these cases, however, we can sometimes treat the symptoms, make patients more comfortable and improve their quality of life.
Frontotemporal Dementia: Early Symptoms Vary
In contrast to Alzheimers, people at the early stages of frontotemporal disorders generally dont have trouble with short-term memory. But depending on the type of frontotemporal issue, early symptoms may vary.
For the type of frontotemporal disorder that initially affects the part of the brain that controls behavior, people may behave rudely or appear oblivious to social norms, seem easily distracted, or appear uncharacteristically selfish or unfeeling.
For the less-common type of frontotemporal disorder that initially affects the part of the brain that controls language skills, the early stage includes trouble attaching names to things, comprehending words, or speaking fluently.
But as dementia becomes progressively worse, people who are experiencing behavior changes will begin having language difficulty, and vice versa.
As frontotemporal disorders progress, symptoms will begin to resemble those of Alzheimers, though agitation and aggression generally develop before short-term memory loss and other symptoms of later-stage Alzheimers, such as trouble judging distance and difficulty seeing objects in three dimensions.
On average people with frontotemporal disorders live for six to eight years after the onset of symptoms.
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
Recommended Reading: Does Meredith Grey Have Alzheimer’s
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Rapid Onset Dementia
Signs and symptoms of dementia can vary depending on the underlying cause. However, the most common signs include cognitive change, memory loss, difficulty with problem-solving or completing complex tasks, and confusion or disorientation. Many people with dementia will also experience psychological changes such as depression, anxiety, personality changes, paranoia, hallucinations, agitation, and inappropriate behavior. Some causes of rapid onset dementia can be treated and possibly reversed if a diagnosis can be found quickly enough. For other people with this disease, there is no cure and a progression of symptoms is unavoidable.
Physical Exam & Patient History
Because the first symptoms of CJD are sometimes constitutional, identifying the actual date of onset may require some probing. An assessment of the patients ability to complete activities of daily living helps quantify disease progression. Ask about any family history of neurological or psychiatric disease . Medical and travel history may help assess the risk of acquired CJD.
You May Like: What Is The Difference Between Dementia And Senility
Stage : Moderate Dementia
Patients in stage 5 need some assistance in order to carry out their daily lives. The main sign for stage 5 dementia is the inability to remember major details such as the name of a close family member or a home address. Patients may become disoriented about the time and place, have trouble making decisions, and forget basic information about themselves, such as a telephone number or address.
While moderate dementia can interfere with basic functioning, patients at this stage do not need assistance with basic functions such as using the bathroom or eating. Patients also still have the ability to remember their own names and generally the names of spouses and children.
Living With Frontotemporal Dementia
Coping with FTD can be frightening, frustrating, and embarrassing for the patient and family members. Since some symptoms cant be controlled, family members shouldn’t take their loved ones behaviors personally. Families need to maintain their own well-being, while ensuring that their loved one is treated with dignity and respect.
Caregivers should learn all they can about FTD and gather a team of experts to help the family meet the medical, financial, and emotional challenges they are facing.
Its important to find a healthcare provider knowledgeable about FTD. Other healthcare specialists who may play a role on the team are home care nurses, neuropsychologists, genetic counselors, speech and language therapists, as well as physical and occupational therapists. Social workers can help the patient and caregivers find community resources, such as medical supplies and equipment, nursing care, support groups, respite care, and financial assistance.
Attorneys and financial advisors can help families prepare for the later stages of the disease.
Advanced planning will help smooth future transitions for the patient and family members, and may allow all to participate in the decision-making process.
Don’t Miss: Dementia Picking At Skin
How Fast Does Alzheimers Progress
Alzheimers disease is one of the most common types of dementia. Although Alzheimers is commonly associated with old age, the disease is thought to be caused by the death of brain cells and an imbalance of neurotransmitters rather than the effect of old age. It is a progressive disease and over time the patient will slowly deteriorate, so if you have a loved one affected by Alzheimers, how fast does Alzheimers progress?
Alzheimers affects different people in different ways and the progress of the disease will vary greatly between different individuals. Some people deteriorate very swiftly from when the early symptoms of the disease first become evident, whereas others can live for many years with the disease, even though their quality of life will gradually diminish as Alzheimers takes its toll.
Knowing The Stages Of Dementia Helps You Plan
Even if the stages arent exact and symptoms can still be unpredictable, being able to plan ahead is essential.
The truth is that Alzheimers and dementia care is expensive and time-consuming. Being financially prepared for increasing care needs is a necessity.
On an emotional level, having an idea of what symptoms to expect helps you find ways to cope with challenging behaviors.
It also gives you a chance to mentally prepare yourself for the inevitable changes in your older adult.
How Can I Support Someone With Dementia Towards The End Of Life
Knowing the person will make it easier to provide person-centred care that is focused on what they need and want. It can help to know about their likes, dislikes and their wishes for how they want to be cared for. If the person isnt able to tell you about themselves, speak to their family, friends or other people who know them well.
Its a good idea to find out if the person has a copy of This is me , a document that records information about themselves. If you cant speak to the person, ask those close to them if they have a copy. They may have these details recorded in their care plan.
There are many ways to support someone with dementia at the end of life.
How Is Dementia Treated
Treatment of dementia depends on its cause. For example, dementia that has developed due to vitamin deficiency can be treated with vitamin supplements and hence is reversible. Other causes of dementia such as depression, thyroid problems can also be treated.
For progressive dementias, including Alzheimer’s disease, no treatment can halt its progression, and research is still going on to find out the same. But, some medications may temporarily help relieve its symptoms such as memory loss and confusion. These are:
You May Like: Does Andrea Mitchell Have Dementia
How Is Frontotemporal Dementia Diagnosed
Family members are often the first to notice subtle changes in behavior or language skills. Its important to see a healthcare provider as early as possible to discuss:
- Symptoms, when they began, and how often they occur
- Medical history and previous medical problems
- Medical histories of family members
- Prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, and dietary supplements taken
No single test can diagnose FTD. Typically, healthcare providers will order routine blood tests and perform physical exams to rule out other conditions that cause similar symptoms. If they suspect dementia, they may:
- Evaluate neurological status health including reflexes, muscle strength, muscle tone, sense of touch and sight, coordination, and balance
- Assess neuropsychological status such as memory, problem-solving ability, attention span and counting skills, and language abilities
- Order magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography scans of the brain
Poor Judgment And Difficulty Making Decisions
Another important side effect of dementia occurs when a person experiences changes in his or her judgment. This can lead to serious issues with the way one handles money. For example, a person who was usually on-time with payments may forget to handle monthly utilities, or give large sums of money to telemarketers when he or she typically avoided such activities in the past. If a person develops dementia or Alzheimers they may eventually be unable to manage the household bills.
Recommended Reading: Senility Vs Dementia
Stages Of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction
Canine cognitive dysfunction is a disease that is caused by brain changes in aging dogs. Its similar to Alzheimers. A recent study identified three stages in canine cognitive dysfunction.
- Stage 1, MILD: Changes in sleep patterns and slight changes in social interactions with owners.
- Stage 2, MODERATE: Hyperactivity at night, starting to lose house training, and starting to require special care.
- Stage 3, SEVERE: Dramatic behavior problems including aimless wandering, barking through much of the night, lack of responsiveness to their family, and significant house soiling.
If your dog has canine cognitive dysfunction, these stages can help you understand the progression of the disease. The research may be able to indicate how much time your dog has.
What Are The Complications Of Parkinson Disease
Parkinson disease causes physical symptoms at first. Problems with cognitive function, including forgetfulness and trouble with concentration, may arise later. As the disease gets worse with time, many people develop dementia. This can cause profound memory loss and makes it hard to maintain relationships.
Parkinson disease dementia can cause problems with:
- Speaking and communicating with others
- Problem solving
- Paying attention
If you have Parkinson disease and dementia, in time, you likely won’t be able to live by yourself. Dementia affects your ability to care of yourself, even if you can still physically do daily tasks.
Experts don’t understand how or why dementia often occurs with Parkinson disease. Its clear, though, that dementia and problems with cognitive function are linked to changes in the brain that cause problems with movement. As with Parkinson disease, dementia occurs when nerve cells degenerate, leading to chemical changes in the brain. Parkinson disease dementia may be treated with medicines also used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, another type of dementia.
Don’t Miss: Oneirophrenia Dementia
What Are The Symptoms Of Frontotemporal Dementia
Symptoms of FTD start gradually and progress steadily, and in some cases, rapidly. They vary from person to person, depending on the areas of the brain involved. These are common symptoms:
- Behavior and/or dramatic personality changes, such as swearing, stealing, increased interest in sex, or a deterioration in personal hygiene habits
- Socially inappropriate, impulsive, or repetitive behaviors
- Impaired judgment
- Increasing dependence
Some people have physical symptoms, such as tremors, muscle spasms or weakness, rigidity, poor coordination and/or balance, or difficulty swallowing. Psychiatric symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions, also may occur, although these are not as common as behavioral and language changes.
What Happens In Vascular Dementia
Vascular dementia can cause different symptoms depending on where the blood vessels are damaged in the brain. For example, a person who had a stroke may have sudden problems with memory, balance, or speech. However, a person can have several strokes that may be unnoticeably small, but the damage can add up over time.
Many people with vascular dementia have trouble with memory. Others may have difficulty with organization and solving complex problems, slowed thinking, or being easily distracted. People with vascular dementia may also have changes in mood or behavior, such as irritability, loss of interest, or depression.
Sometimes, people with vascular dementia have trouble with balance and movement. This might include weakness on one side of the body, and the symptoms may get worse over time.
You May Like: Does Neil Diamond Have Alzheimer’s
How Is Frontotemporal Dementia Treated
Currently, no treatments are available to cure or slow the progression of FTD, but healthcare providers may prescribe medicine to treat symptoms. Antidepressants may help treat anxiety and control obsessive-compulsive behaviors and other symptoms. Prescription sleeping aids can help ease insomnia and other sleep disturbances. Antipsychotic medicine may reduce irrational and compulsive behaviors.
Behavior modification may help control unacceptable or risky behaviors.
Speech and language pathologists and physical and occupational therapists can help adjustment to some of the changes caused by FTD.
Phases Of The Condition
Some of the features of dementia are commonly classified into three stages or phases. It is important to remember that not all of these features will be present in every person, nor will every person go through every stage. However, it remains a useful description of the general progression of dementia.
- Early Dementia
- Advanced Dementia
Read Also: Is Senility The Same As Dementia
What Is Frontotemporal Dementia
Frontotemporal dementia , a common cause of dementia, is a group of disorders that occur when nerve cells in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain are lost. This causes the lobes to shrink. FTD can affect behavior, personality, language, and movement.
These disorders are among the most common dementias that strike at younger ages. Symptoms typically start between the ages of 40 and 65, but FTD can strike young adults and those who are older. FTD affects men and women equally.
The most common types of FTD are:
- Frontal variant. This form of FTD affects behavior and personality.
- Primary progressive aphasia. Aphasia means difficulty communicating. This form has two subtypes:
- Progressive nonfluent aphasia, which affects the ability to speak.
- Semantic dementia, which affects the ability to use and understand language.
A less common form of FTD affects movement, causing symptoms similar to Parkinson disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis .
As A Care Worker How Can You Help
There are many conditions and circumstances where you may see signs and symptoms that may be confused with dementia. As a care worker, it is not your responsibility to try to diagnose the condition. However, as you may be the one person who sees the individual on a regular basis, you are well placed to notice any changes. Encouraging an older person to visit their GP on a regular basis can help them to maintain their general health and wellbeing.
Recommended Reading: What Color Ribbon Is Alzheimer’s
What Happens In Rpd
The progression of RPD varies from patient to patient and in part depends on the underlying cause. Patients typically develop problems with their thinking, mood/personality/behavior, ability to speak or understand, or ability to control their movements. Many are often treatable and reversible if diagnosed quickly. For some other RPDs, there are no cures, and the progression of symptoms is inevitable. There may be some treatment to help relieve specific symptoms. Patients with non-curable forms of RPD may die within months or a few years from onset.
What Are The Complications Of Frontotemporal Dementia
FTD is not life-threatening people may live with it for years. But it can lead to an increased risk for other illnesses that can be more serious. Pneumonia is the most common cause of death, with FTD. People are also at increased risk for infections and fall-related injuries.
As FTD progressively worsens, people may engage in dangerous behaviors or be unable to care for themselves. They may need 24-hour nursing care or to stay in an assisted living facility or nursing home.
Don’t Miss: What Shampoos Cause Alzheimer’s
Stage : Moderately Severe Dementia
When the patient begins to forget the names of their children, spouse, or primary caregivers, they are most likely entering stage 6 of dementia and will need full time care. In the sixth stage, patients are generally unaware of their surroundings, cannot recall recent events, and have skewed memories of their personal past. Caregivers and loved ones should watch for:
- Delusional behavior
Living With Parkinson Disease
These measures can help you live well with Parkinson disease:
- An exercise routine can help keep muscles flexible and mobile. Exercise also releases natural brain chemicals that can improve emotional well-being.
- High protein meals can benefit your brain chemistry
- Physical, occupational, and speech therapy can help your ability to care for yourself and communicate with others
- If you or your family has questions about Parkinson disease, want information about treatment, or need to find support, you can contact the American Parkinson Disease Association.
Recommended Reading: Taking Aricept Without Alzheimer’s
Signs Of Vascular Dementia
If you or the people around you notice any of the signs below, you should visit your GP:
- Not being able to understand or respond to things very quickly.
- Not being able to remember things.
- Finding it difficult to concentrate.
- Not being able to find the right word when youre speaking.
- Struggling to plan ahead for everyday tasks.
- Difficulty in learning new tasks
- Seeming down or depressed.
At a later stage, signs may include:
- Becoming confused.
- Behaving differently, especially if youre being aggressive or behaving inappropriately.
- Lacking motivation.
- Not being able to control your emotions.
- Finding it difficult to walk and keep your balance.
- Having problems controlling your bladder.
Symptoms Specific To Vascular Dementia
Vascular dementia is the second most common cause of dementia, after Alzheimer’s. Some people have both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, often called “mixed dementia”.
Symptoms of vascular dementia are similar to Alzheimer’s disease, although memory loss may not be as obvious in the early stages.
Symptoms can sometimes develop suddenly and quickly get worse, but they can also develop gradually over many months or years.
Specific symptoms can include:
- stroke-like symptoms: including muscle weakness or temporary paralysis on one side of the body
- movement problems difficulty walking or a change in the way a person walks
- thinking problems having difficulty with attention, planning and reasoning
- mood changes depression and a tendency to become more emotional
Read more about vascular dementia.
You May Like: Does Terry Bradshaw Have Alzheimer