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Does Dementia Only Affect The Elderly

Pooled Estimates Of Prevalence

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In 2000, prevalence data from 11 European population based studies were pooled to obtain stable estimates of prevalence of dementia in the elderly . Age standardised prevalence was 6.4% for dementia , 4.4% for AD, and 1.6% for VaD. Prevalence of dementia was higher in women than in men and nearly doubled with every five year increase in age: 0.8% in the group age 6569 years and 28.5% at age 90 years and older . Of all dementia cases, 54% suffered AD. Prevalence of AD showed the steepest increase with age, from 0.6% in the group age 6569 years to 22.2% in the group aged 90 years and older. VaD accounted for 16% of cases, and prevalence increased with age from 0.3% to 5.2% . More recently, prevalence rates for dementia were compared among 12 population based European studies. Crude prevalence rates varied between 5.9% and 9.4% . Again, an almost exponential increase with age and a female excessmostly after age 75was described.

Pooled prevalence of dementia by sex. Based on Lobo et al.

Dementia And Sugar Cravings: How Sweet Treats May Be Destroying Your Brain

Many people have heard of different types of diets, with each one making a more outlandish claim than the last. Perhaps you have read of some of these in the aisles of convenience markets or grocery stores, with glamorous models on the front and large text proclaiming tremendous differences in weeks. Sadly, this is not the case.

However, a recent Harvard study has found that reducing the sugar in your diet can directly lead to reducing your blood sugar levels, which lowers your chance of developing dementia. Obviously, your age and the genetics you have been born with are uncontrollable factors, but what are some things that you can change? Continue reading to find out how to make yourself less susceptible to developing dementia, and if sugar can make dementia more likely or worse.

Mild Cognitive Impairment Or Mild Behavioral Impairment

At this stage, there are some changes in memory and othercognitive functionsor in mood, behavior and personality, but not enough to affect independentfunctioning in daily life. Screening for MCI and MBI is increasingly usedto diagnose people who might be at risk of developing Alzheimersor other dementias, with studies finding that about half of those diagnosedwith MCI or MBI eventually develop dementia .

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Signs And Symptoms Of Oxygen Deprivation

The brain needs a certain amount of oxygen every minute. If oxygen levels in the blood are not enough, the body may increase blood flow to compensate.

If this is still not enough, the brain will begin to be negatively affected. Immediate signs of poor oxygen circulation to the brain may include:

  • Difficulty with complex tasks

What Medications Are Available To Treat Dementia

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Drugs approved for the most common form of dementia, Alzheimers disease, are discussed below. These drugs are also used to treat people with some of the other forms of dementia.

  • cholinesterase inhibitors
  • NMDA receptor antagonist memantine

These two classes of drugs affect different chemical processes in the brain. Both classes have been shown to provide some benefit in improving or stabilizing memory function in some patients. Although none of these drugs appear to stop the progression of the underlying disease, they may slow it down.

If other medical conditions are causing dementia or co-exist with dementia, the appropriate drugs used to treat those specific conditions are prescribed.

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How Does Peanut Butter Detect Alzheimers

The researchers discovered that those who had an impaired sense of smell in the left nostril had early-stage Alzheimers . They noted that the participants needed to be an average of 10 centimeters closer to the peanut butter container in order to smell it from their left nostril compared to their right nostril.

What You Can Do For Your Loved One

As an individual with dementia declines, you can help them by providing a loving and supportive presence. Sit with them. Hold their hand. Play music they enjoy.

One of the greatest gifts you can give your loved one is helping to get their affairs in order. Ensure that financial and healthcare powers of attorney are put in place, so you can make decisions when your loved one is no longer able. Look into funeral arrangements before you need them, so you dont need to make important decisions in a time of crisis.

Talk to your loved ones physician about the possibility of palliative care support in the home and hospice care when your loved one is ready.

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Supporting Someone With Dementia Who Has Mental Health Problems

Its common for people with dementia to experience depression, anxiety or apathy . Alzheimers UK has information about how these problems might affect someone with dementia, and ways to support them and get them the right support and treatment.

Improving the mental health of someone with dementia can improve their overall quality of life, for example by helping them engage with friends and relatives, improving their appetite and sleep quality, and boosting their motivation.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Dementia

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Signs and symptoms of dementia result when once-healthy neurons, or nerve cells, in the brain stop working, lose connections with other brain cells, and die. While everyone loses some neurons as they age, people with dementia experience far greater loss.

The symptoms of dementia can vary and may include:

  • Experiencing memory loss, poor judgment, and confusion
  • Difficulty speaking, understanding and expressing thoughts, or reading and writing
  • Wandering and getting lost in a familiar neighborhood
  • Trouble handling money responsibly and paying bills
  • Repeating questions
  • Not caring about other peoples feelings
  • Losing balance and problems with movement

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities can also develop dementia as they age, and recognizing their symptoms can be particularly difficult. Its important to consider a persons current abilities and to monitor for changes over time that could signal dementia.

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Who Can Diagnose Dementia

Visiting a primary care doctor is often the first step for people who are experiencing changes in thinking, movement, or behavior. However, neurologists doctors who specialize in disorders of the brain and nervous system are often consulted to diagnose dementia. Geriatric psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, and geriatricians may also be able to diagnose dementia. Your doctor can help you find a specialist.

If a specialist cannot be found in your community, contact the nearest medical school neurology department for a referral. A medical school hospital also may have a dementia clinic that provides expert evaluation. You can also visit the Alzheimers Disease Research Centers directory to see if there is an NIA-funded center near you. These centers can help with obtaining a diagnosis and medical management of conditions.

Alzheimers Disease: What You Need To Know As You Age

An estimated 5.2 million Americans are living withAlzheimers disease, the most common form ofdementiain the world and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.Todays statistics are just the tip of the iceberg, however. By 2025, thenumber of people afflicted will top 7 milliona 40 percent jumpas babyboomers continue to age and people live longer overall.

Although the risk of AD increases with age, it is not a usual partof aging or something that should be expected in older people, saysConstantine Lyketsos, M.D., director of the Memory and Alzheimers Treatment Center at Johns Hopkins.In fact, early onset Alzheimers can occur in people younger than 65,although it accounts for a small number of all cases. The rest areclassified as late onset.

Alzheimers and many other dementias occur as a result of damage toneuronsin the brain that affects their ability to communicate with each other.Over time, those neurons death and malfunction affects memory, learning,mood, behavior, and eventually physical functions, such as walking, andswallowing.

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The Emotional Impact Of Dementia

Dementia is unique in its ability to affect us emotionally, but by understanding our emotional responses and finding ways to alleviate them, we can prevent this emotional impact becoming unmanageable.

*Beth Britton is a leading campaigner, consultant, writer and blogger on ageing, health, social care and dementia.*

Everyone who has been diagnosed with dementia, or who has a family member who has been diagnosed, has a story to tell of the moment they heard that news.

Ive listened to people describe relief , uncontrollable tearfulness , a matter-of-fact approach , anger , complete denial and just about every other emotion you can imagine.

Peoples emotional responses are often linked to other elements in their life. For example, a younger person diagnosed with dementia may be fearful of rapidly progressing symptoms, giving up work and leaving a young family behind.

An older person may be worried about not accomplishing the things that they have always wanted to do, or losing their home to pay for dementia care. And just about everyone will, at some point, fast forward in their mind to a worst case scenario when they might be immobile, incontinent and nearing the end of their life, even if at the time they are having those thoughts they are relatively well, active and able.

How Does Dementia Affect Everyday Life

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At Alzheimers Research UK, we have the opportunity to talk to, work with and befriend many inspirational and passionate people. All too often, these people have personal experience of dementia in fact 1 in 2 people know someone affected by dementia. They may not have a diagnosis themselves, but often they are carers, loved ones, or people who offer unwavering support to friends.

Its clear from speaking to our passionate supporters, that they want to see a life-changing new treatment for dementia. Current treatments can help with symptoms for a time, but today there are no medicines to slow down, prevent or treat the underlying diseases that cause dementia.

There are many ways an emerging new treatment could be judged as a success. Arguably the most important way is by improving the day-to-day aspects of life that dementia makes so hard.

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Common Forms Of Dementia

There are many different forms of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form and may contribute to 6070% of cases. Other major forms include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies , and a group of diseases that contribute to frontotemporal dementia . The boundaries between different forms of dementia are indistinct and mixed forms often co-exist.

What Happens When A Person’s Dementia Gets Worse

There may eventually come a time when the person can no longer communicate as they once did. This can be distressing and frustrating for them and those supporting them, but there are ways to keep communicating. For example, the person may be able to express themselves through body language and other non-verbal ways.

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What Are The 6 Stages Of Dementia

Resibergs system: Stage 1: No Impairment. During this stage, Alzheimers is not detectable and no memory problems or other symptoms of dementia are evident. Stage 2: Very Mild Decline . Stage 3: Mild Decline . Stage 4: Moderate Decline . Stage 5 : Moderately Severe Decline . Stage 6: Severe Decline . Stages 7: Very Severe Decline .

Can Glucose Drown The Brain

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Glucose is what sugar becomes once it has been digested by your body, and it is your bodys primary source of energy. Your brain also requires a certain level of glucose to continue functioning, as all organs in your body do. However, contrary to all other cells in your body, the cells in your brain have evolved to not require insulin to absorb and transform sugar. The brain cells take the sugar directly from your bloodstream and transport it to your brain. Although, this creates a problem.

Now that there is sugar in the brain, insulin must be used to rework this sugar into energy your brain can use to think, operate, and monitor highly important bodily functions such as breathing and blinking. If you have been living the lifestyle described above, which causes insulin resistance, then your brain will constantly have a high level of insulin in it, and a high level of sugar. The abnormally large concentration of insulin in your brain is attempting to stop your brain from using sugar and is working to transform it into energy.

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Do All Elderly People Suffer From Dementia

Not every older person will suffer with dementia. In the past, the term senility was widely used to describe an age-related dementia also known as senile dementia. It is now known that senile dementia is not an inevitable consequence of aging. In fact in many of these cases of dementia may be linked to other diseases which are not diagnosed. The most common such disease in the elderly is Alzheimers disease, and this type of dementia is also known as Alzheimers dementia.

The Effects Of Alzheimers On The Brain

Damage to the brain begins years before symptoms appear. Abnormal protein deposits form plaques and tangles in the brain of someone with Alzheimers disease. Connections between cells are lost, and they begin to die. In advanced cases, the brain shows significant shrinkage.

Its impossible to diagnose Alzheimers with complete accuracy while a person is alive. The diagnosis can only be confirmed when the brain is examined under a microscope during an autopsy. However, specialists are able to make the correct diagnosis up to 90 percent of the time.

The symptoms of Alzheimers and dementia can overlap, but there can be some differences.

Both conditions can cause:

  • behavioral changes
  • difficulty speaking, swallowing, or walking in advanced stages of the disease

Some types of dementia will share some of these symptoms, but they include or exclude other symptoms that can help make a differential diagnosis. Lewy body dementia , for example, has many of the same later symptoms as Alzheimers. However, people with LBD but are more likely to experience initial symptoms such as visual hallucinations, difficulties with balance, and sleep disturbances.

People with dementia due to Parkinsons or Huntingtons disease are more likely to experience involuntary movement in the early stages of the disease.

Treatment for dementia will depend on the exact cause and type of dementia, but many treatments for dementia and Alzheimers will overlap.

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What Is Mixed Dementia

It is common for people with dementia to have more than one form of dementia. For example, many people with dementia have both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.

Researchers who have conducted autopsy studies have looked at the brains of people who had dementia, and have suggested that most people age 80 and older probably have mixed dementia caused by a combination of brain changes related to Alzheimer’s disease,vascular disease-related processes, or another condition that involves the loss of nerve cell function or structure and nerve cell death .

Scientists are investigating how the underlying disease processes in mixed dementia start and influence each other. Further knowledge gains in this area will help researchers better understand these conditions and develop more personalized prevention and treatment strategies.

Other conditions that cause dementia-like symptoms can be halted or even reversed with treatment. For example, normal pressure hydrocephalus, an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, often resolves with treatment.

In addition, medical conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression, and delirium can cause serious memory problems that resemble dementia, as can side effects of certain medicines.

Researchers have also identified many other conditions that can cause dementia or dementia-like symptoms. These conditions include:

Managing Alzheimer’s Disease Behavior

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Common behavioral symptoms of Alzheimers include sleeplessness, wandering, agitation, anxiety, and aggression. Scientists are learning why these symptoms occur and are studying new treatments drug and nondrug to manage them. Research has shown that treating behavioral symptoms can make people with Alzheimers more comfortable and makes things easier for caregivers.

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Strategies To Improve Long

There are several ways you can improve your long-term memory. When trying to store new information in your long-term memory, it helps to repeat it several times and pay full attention. It also helps to attach meaning. For example, try to link new information with something you already know and understand. This is known as elaborative rehearsal.

Teaching information to others is another very effective way to get knowledge into your memory and remain there since it requires you to understand it and then express it well to someone else.

Using mnemonic strategies can also help improve your ability to learn and then later recall a memory.

How Is Dementia Diagnosed

To diagnose dementia, doctors first assess whether a person has an underlying, potentially treatable, condition that may relate to cognitive difficulties. A physical exam to measure blood pressure and other vital signs, as well as laboratory tests of blood and other fluids to check levels of various chemicals, hormones, and vitamins, can help uncover or rule out possible causes of symptoms.

A review of a persons medical and family history can provide important clues about risk for dementia. Typical questions might include asking about whether dementia runs in the family, how and when symptoms began, changes in behavior and personality, and if the person is taking certain medications that might cause or worsen symptoms.

The following procedures also may be used to diagnose dementia:

  • Psychiatric evaluation. This evaluation will help determine if depression or another mental health condition is causing or contributing to a person’s symptoms.
  • Genetic tests. Some dementias are caused by a persons genes. In these cases, a genetic test can help people know if they are at risk for dementia. It is important to talk with a genetic counselor before and after getting tested, along with family members and the doctor.
  • Early detection of symptoms is important, as some causes can be treated. However, in many cases, the cause of dementia is unknown and cannot be treated. Still, obtaining an early diagnosis can help with managing the condition and planning ahead.

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