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What Can Cause Irreversible Dementia

Home Health Care Specialists Understand Urinary Tract Infections

What Causes Dementia

Infections, including urinary tract infections, can damage nerves and brain cells. That can lead to temporary mental disorientation. The disorientation can be mistaken for the onset of dementia by those unfamiliar with the interaction between it and UTIs.

Temporary dementia can be successfully treated and potentially reversed if the cause is removed. Reversible;dementia has much of the same symptoms as irreversible dementia, so testing is necessary to determine the cause.

Dementia due to infection may occur rapidly, which is a telltale difference between a reversible and an irreversible condition.

Home health care professionals are trained to observe and evaluate any changes in patients. Individuals with dementia arent always able to express whats happening in their minds and bodies. Pegasus caregivers have the ability to elicit information and understand what is or isnt significant.

If the individual already has dementia, a UTI can worsen it. That makes it even more important to find the cause for any disorientation. Treat the infection, and dementia may improve.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Dementia

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.

Home Health Caregivers Recognize The Connection Between Dementia And Urinary Tract Infections

The term dementia refers to several medical conditions that reduce an individuals ability to function. Pegasus professionals are trained to meet the special needs of dementia patients. As expert caregivers, they are aware of the connection between dementia and urinary tract infections .

Dementia results from damage to the cells and nerves in the brain. Damaged cells lose the ability to communicate with other cells. The lack of nerve and cellular communication leads to memory loss and a decline in cognitive function.

Dementia patients experience impaired ability to:

  • Remember new information
  • Speak or interact effectively with others
  • Focus or understand activity around them
  • Use reason or make good judgments
  • Accurately perceive what is seen

Family members will also notice behavioral changes in the dementia patient.

Dementia doesnt occur overnight in most instances. Damage occurs over time. Because its gradual, symptoms often arent noticed until the disease is in advanced stages.

Caring for a dementia patient can be exceptionally difficult for family members. The level of care needed can become exhausting.

Often, a dementia patient does better at home than in a facility. Pegasus home health care makes staying at home possible, as well as relieving the stress family caregivers feel. Home health caregivers provide a much-needed break for families.

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What Are The Different Types Of Dementia

Various disorders and factors contribute to the development of dementia. Neurodegenerative disorders result in a progressive and irreversible loss of neurons and brain functioning. Currently, there are no cures for these diseases.

The five most common forms of dementia are:

  • Alzheimers disease, the most common dementia diagnosis among older adults. It is caused by changes in the brain, including abnormal buildups of proteins, known as amyloid plaques and tau tangles.
  • Frontotemporal dementia, a rare form of dementia that tends to occur in people younger than 60. It is associated with abnormal amounts or forms of the proteins tau and TDP-43.
  • Lewy body dementia, a form of dementia caused by abnormal deposits of the protein alpha-synuclein, called Lewy bodies.
  • Vascular dementia, a form of dementia caused by conditions that damage blood vessels in the brain or interrupt the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain.
  • Mixed dementia, a combination of two or more types of dementia.

Importance Of Obtaining A Diagnosis For Dementia

Gte general dementia knowledge

The diagnosis of dementia requires a complete medical and neuropsychological evaluation. The process is first to determine whether;the person has a cognitive problem and how severe it is. The next step is to determine the cause in order to accurately recommend treatment and allow patients and caregivers to plan for the future.

A medical evaluation for dementia usually includes the following:

The process of diagnosing dementia has become more accurate in recent years, and specialists are able to analyze the large amount of data collected and determine whether;there is a problem, the severity, and, often, the cause of the dementia. Occasionally, there may be a combination of causes, or it may take time to monitor the individual to be sure of a diagnosis. Determining whether the cause is a reversible or irreversible condition guides the treatment and care for the affected person and family.

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How Dementia Affects Cognition

Dementia is a syndrome, a collection or grouping of symptoms that can affect, damage, or destroy cells in the brain. Dementia is progressive, meaning it gets worse over time. Dementia can be the main cause of brain disease or it can develop as a result of accidents, tumors and cysts, concussions, cardiovascular disorders, uncontrolled diabetes, neurologic disorders such as Parkinsons disease, alcohol and drug abuse, and a number of other disorders and diseases.

Dementia affects cognition: thinking, memory, judgment, learning, language comprehension, attitudes, beliefs, safety awareness, morals, and the ability to plan for the future are all affected to some degree. Dementia also affects motor and sensory functions such as balance, spatial awareness, vision, pain processing, and the ability to modulate sensory input.

Can Low Sodium Levels Cause Permanent Brain Damage

hyponatremiabrainpermanenthyponatremia canirreversible brain damage

In acute hyponatremia, sodium levels drop rapidly resulting in potentially dangerous effects, such as rapid brain swelling, which can result in a coma and death. Premenopausal women appear to be at the greatest risk of hyponatremia-related brain damage.

One may also ask, can low sodium cause dementia? In sum, hyponatremia increases the risk of dementia, including both AD and non-AD dementia. Severe hyponatremia carries a much higher risk of dementia. Baseline or incident stroke can modify the relationship between hyponatremia and dementia.

Likewise, can low sodium cause altered mental status?

Symptoms range from mild anorexia, headache, and muscle cramps, to significant alteration in mental status including confusion, obtundation, coma, or status epilepticus. Hyponatremia is often seen in association with pulmonary/mediastinal disease or CNS disorders. Hyponatremia is associated with numerous medications.

What happens when sodium levels are low?

Hyponatremia occurs when sodium levels in the blood are too low. Symptoms include lethargy, confusion, and fatigue. It can result from underlying conditions, such as kidney failure, or other factors, such as drinking too much water or taking certain medications.

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Other Causes Of Reversible Dementia

Other causes of reversible dementia include:

  • infections such as HIV and urinary tract infections, which should be ruled out when performing a dementia assessment. Treating the infection may eliminate the dementia symptoms.
  • benign brain tumors that place pressure on the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, or other brain regions involved in short-term memory. In some cases, the benign tumor can be treated and the cognitive impairment reversed.

Access references at visit myamericannurse.com/?p=72396.

Angela Humbel is an undergraduate bachelor of science in nursing student at The Ohio State University in Columbus. Michael Carter is a distinguished professor emeritus at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. Todd B. Monroe is an associate professor at The Ohio State University.and Todd B. Monroe, PhD, RN-BC, FNAP, FGSA, FAAN

Who Can Diagnose Dementia

What is 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.

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What Is The Treatment For Symptoms And Complications Of Dementia

Some symptoms and complications of dementia can be relieved by medical treatment, even if no treatment exists for the underlying cause of the dementia.

  • Behavioral disorders may improve with individualized therapy aimed at identifying and changing specific problem behaviors.
  • Mood swings and emotional outbursts may be treated with mood-stabilizing drugs.
  • Agitation and psychosis may be treated with antipsychotic medication or, in some cases, anticonvulsants.
  • Seizures usually require anticonvulsant medication.
  • Sleeplessness can be treated by changing certain habits and, in some cases, by taking medication.
  • Bacterial infections require treatment with antibiotics.
  • Dehydration and malnutrition may be treated with rehydration and supplements or with behavioral therapies.
  • Aspiration, pressure sores, and injuries can be prevented with appropriate care.

Its Not Necessarily Alzheimers

More than 50 conditions can cause or mimic the symptoms of dementia, and a small percentage of dementias are reversible. Two common examples are dementia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency or an underactive thyroid . Getting the right diagnosis is important so that you know what options you have, because symptoms subside when the underlying problem is treated.

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Types Of Reversible Dementia

According to Alzheimer Society Canada, the following are common causes of reversible dementia:

Head Injuries

According to the Alzheimers Association, a traumatic brain injury may increase the risk of developing Alzheimers or another type of dementia years after the injury takes place. Anyone who experiences a head injury, even without a loss of consciousness, should see a medical professional. And if the head injury is severe, such as being ejected from a vehicle and loss of consciousness, someone should call emergency services immediately, experts say. Treatment for head injuries will vary depending on the type of injury, the severity of the injury, the age of the person, and other factors.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse

The Alzheimers Association notes that alcohol abuse can lead to Korsakoff syndrome which affects brain function due to low thiamine levels. Korsakoff syndrome may also occur with AIDS, certain cancers, poor nutrition and other conditions. There is no test for Korsakoff syndrome, but a doctor can make a determination based symptoms and a check-up. Abstaining from alcohol has the potential to recover from Korsakoff syndrome, the Alzheimers Association reports.

Medication Side Effects


Certain Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies

Thyroid Issues

Heart Disease

Medical professionals agree that if someone suddenly experiences memory lapses, they should consult their health care provider to learn if it is something that can be reversed.


Are Dementia Senility And Alzheimer’s Disease The Same Things

Treatment of dementia
  • Dementia occurs most commonly in elderly people; it used to be called senility and/or senile dementia, and was considered a normal part of aging. Affected people were labeled as demented. The term “senile dementia” is infrequently used in the current medical literature and has been replaced by the term “dementia.”
  • “Senile dementia,””senility,” and “demented” are older outdated terms that incorrectly label people with memory loss, confusion and other symptoms as a normal part of aging.
  • Dementia, as defined above, is a constellation of ongoing symptoms that are not part of normal aging that have a large number of different causes, for example, Alzheimer’s disease is the major cause of dementia in individuals but it is only one of many problems that can cause dementia.

Symptoms of dementia vary considerably by the individual and the underlying cause of the dementia. Most people affected by dementia have some of these symptoms. The symptoms may be very obvious, or they may be very subtle and go unrecognized for some time. The first sign of dementia is usually loss of short-term memory. The person repeats what he just said or forgets where she put an object just a few minutes ago. Other symptoms and signs are as follows:

Early dementia symptoms and signs

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What Is Dementia Symptoms Types And Diagnosis

Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning thinking, remembering, and reasoning to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities. Some people with dementia cannot control their emotions, and their personalities may change. Dementia ranges in severity from the mildest stage, when it is just beginning to affect a person’s functioning, to the most severe stage, when the person must depend completely on others for basic activities of living.

Dementia is more common as people grow older but it is not a normal part of aging. Many people live into their 90s and beyond without any signs of dementia.

There are several different forms of dementia, including Alzheimers disease. A persons symptoms can vary depending on the type.

Dementia Caused By Huntingtons Disease

Huntingtons disease is an inherited degenerative brain disease that affects the mind and body. It usually appears between the ages of 30 and 50, and is characterised by intellectual decline and irregular involuntary movement of the limbs or facial muscles. Other symptoms include personality change, memory disturbance, slurred speech, impaired judgement and psychiatric problems.There is no treatment available to stop the progression of this disease, but medication can control movement disorders and psychiatric symptoms. Dementia occurs in the majority of people with Huntingtons disease.

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Can You Prevent Alzheimers Disease

There is no sure way to prevent Alzheimers disease. However, you can reduce the risk of Alzheimers disease by caring for your health:

  • your heart whats good for your heart is good for your brain so stick to a healthy diet and dont smoke
  • your body regular physical activity increases blood flow to the brain so maintain an active lifestyle
  • your mind an active mind helps build brain cells and strengthens their connections so socialise, do things such as puzzles and crosswords, and learn new things, such as a language

Learn more about the risk factors associated with Alzheimers and other types of dementia, and what you can do to reduce your risk:

Read the related video transcript.

What Is Alzheimers Disease

Dementia: Symptoms, Causes & Diagnosis â Psychiatry | Lecturio

Alzheimers disease is the most common type of irreversible dementia . Nearly 7 out of 10 people with dementia have the Alzheimers type.

While Alzheimers disease affects up to 1 in 10 Australians over 65 years of age, and up to 3 in 10 Australians over 85, it is not a normal part of ageing.

The brain contains millions of brain cells that organise how the brain stores memories, learns habits and shapes our personality. Signals pass along the connections between brain cells in the form of chemicals called neurotransmitters. Alzheimers disease affects these cells and chemicals, disturbing memory, impairing thinking and causing behaviour changes over time. People with Alzheimers disease eventually need long-term care and support.

There are 2 main types of Alzheimers disease:

  • Sporadic Alzheimers is the most common form and usually occurs after age 65. Its cause is not fully understood.
  • Familial Alzheimers is caused by a very rare genetic condition and results in dementia, usually in people in their 40s and 50s. This is known as younger onset dementia.

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Symptoms Of Dementia With Lewy Bodies

Diagnosing any type of dementia is difficult, but there are many cornerstone symptoms that help achieve an accurate diagnosis. In Lewy body dementia, the most prevalent symptoms include:

  • Disrupted sleep- often this is the first sign to look out for further symptoms in years to come. Affected individuals will physically act out dreams, moving while sleeping and sometimes hitting their partners in their sleep.
  • Difficulty with problem-solving abilities such as putting together a puzzle
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Visual hallucinations and sensory disturbances
  • Tremors and Parkinsonism often occurs last in LBD, which includes loss of balance
  • Blood pressure can drop with LBD, causing fainting spells
  • Bladder issues and incontinence

To diagnose someone with Lewy body dementia based on symptoms alone, at least two of these symptoms must be present, including dementia. New research has provided insight into brain scans to more accurately diagnose LBD and other brain disorders in a clinic.

Treating And Managing Dementia Symptoms

Dementia symptoms generally begin to appear later in life, after or around age 60, with the most common form being Alzheimer’s disease. Most forms of dementia are treatable, but not curable. For treatable, but degenerative forms of dementia, medication can help manage symptoms, although for most people, there are only modest benefits to treatment.

However, sometimes dementia symptoms may be caused by treatable conditions, and if the underlying conditions are treated, the patient’s mental functions can at least partially, if not completely, improve. It is estimated that about 20 percent of patients with dementia symptoms actually have a curable condition, thus it is important to rule these out in order to make a firm diagnosis of a degenerative type of dementia.

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Majority Reported Passing Out From Drinking

Scientists examined seven European cohort studies from the U.K., France, Sweden, and Finland to include 131,415 people.

The participants, aged between 18 and 77 years, werent diagnosed with dementia during the years when they reported their alcohol consumption .

At follow-up, an average of 14 years later, they were examined for symptoms of dementia.

Over 96,000 people in this group reported passing out due to alcohol. Of these, over 10,000 reported having lost consciousness from drinking in the past year.

Binge drinking tends to be most problematic among college aged youth and young adults, Dr. Scott Krakower, unit chief of psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital, Glen Oaks, New York, told Healthline.

The moderate drinkers who hadnt passed out while drinking were used as the reference group. Compared with other participants, those who reported alcohol-induced loss of consciousness were more likely to drink hard liquor and beer, rather than wine.

After excluding participants with early or late onset Alzheimers, and cardiovascular conditions to find risk of cognitive impairment, the study authors concluded, The findings of this study suggest that alcohol-induced loss of consciousness, irrespective of overall alcohol consumption, is associated with a subsequent increase in the risk of dementia.


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