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What Diseases Fall Under Dementia

What Are The Types Of Dementia

Falls Prevention in People with Dementia | David Ganz, MD | UCLAMDChat

Dementias are often broken down into two main categories — Alzheimer type or non-Alzheimer type. Dementias of the Alzheimers disease type are defined by the symptoms of memory loss plus impairment in other brain functions, such as language function inability to move the muscles associated with speech or perception, visual or other inabilities to recognize speech or name objects .

Non-Alzheimer dementias include the frontotemporal lobar degenerations, which are further broken down into two main types. One type primarily affects speech. An example is primary progressive aphasia syndromes. The other type is defined by changes in behavior, including lack of feeling, emotion, interest or concern loss of a social filter personality change and loss of executive functions . In both of these frontotemporal lobe dementias, memory loss is relatively mild until later in the course of the disease.

Other non-Alzheimers disease dementias include vascular disorders , dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson’s dementia, and normal pressure hydrocephalus.

Psychological And Psychosocial Therapies

Psychological therapies for dementia include some limited evidence for reminiscence therapy , some benefit for cognitive reframing for caretakers, unclear evidence for validation therapy and tentative evidence for mental exercises, such as cognitive stimulation programs for people with mild to moderate dementia. Offering personally tailored activities may help reduce challenging behavior and may improve quality of life. It is not clear if personally tailored activities have an impact on affect or improve for the quality of life for the caregiver.

Adult daycare centers as well as special care units in nursing homes often provide specialized care for dementia patients. Daycare centers offer supervision, recreation, meals, and limited health care to participants, as well as providing respite for caregivers. In addition, home care can provide one-to-one support and care in the home allowing for more individualized attention that is needed as the disorder progresses. Psychiatric nurses can make a distinctive contribution to people’s mental health.

Some London hospitals found that using color, designs, pictures and lights helped people with dementia adjust to being at the hospital. These adjustments to the layout of the dementia wings at these hospitals helped patients by preventing confusion.

Cognitive training

Personally tailored activities

Keeping Quality Of Life At The Forefront

Improving the quality of life for people living with dementia and caregivers is at the core of the national dementia strategy, and is one its key objectives. The aspirations of the strategy related to quality of life touch on how well people living with dementia are included and welcomed in all aspects of life, as well as the quality of care provided and the supports available to caregivers who make a tremendous contribution.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced quality of life for many Canadians living with dementia and caregivers, especially due to isolation from loved ones. Lessons learned during the pandemic from successful quality of life initiatives need to be kept in mind to ensure better preparations for possible similar events in the future. The pandemic has also drawn attention to the work that needs to be done to improve the care available to older Canadians, particularly in long-term care homes.

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What To Do If You Suspect Alzheimers Disease

Getting checked by your healthcare provider can help determine if the symptoms you are experiencing are related to Alzheimers disease, or a more treatable conditions such as a vitamin deficiency or a side effect from medication. Early and accurate diagnosis also provides opportunities for you and your family to consider financial planning, develop advance directives, enroll in clinical trials, and anticipate care needs.

What Medications Are Available To Treat Dementia

PPT

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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What Causes Parkinson Disease

Parkinson disease arises from decreased dopamine production in the brain. The absence of dopamine makes it hard for the brain to coordinate muscle movements. Low dopamine also contributes to mood and cognitive problems later in the course of the disease. Experts don’t know what triggers the development of Parkinson disease most of the time. Early onset Parkinson disease is often inherited and is the result of certain gene defects.

Disproportionate Impact On Women

Globally, dementia has a disproportionate impact on women. Sixty-five percent of total deaths due to dementia are women, and disability-adjusted life years due to dementia are roughly 60% higher in women than in men. Additionally, women provide the majority of informal care for people living with dementia, accounting for 70% of carer hours.

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Causes Of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease is thought to be caused by the abnormal build-up of 2 proteins called amyloid and tau.

Deposits of amyloid, called plaques, build up around brain cells. Deposits of tau form “tangles” within brain cells.

Researchers do not fully understand how amyloid and tau are involved in the loss of brain cells, but research into this is continuing.

As brain cells become affected in Alzheimer’s, there’s also a decrease in chemical messengers involved in sending messages, or signals, between brain cells.

Levels of 1 neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, are particularly low in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Medicines like donepezil increase levels of acetylcholine, and improve brain function and symptoms.

These treatments are not a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but they do help improve symptoms.

Read more about treatments for dementia.

The symptoms that people develop depend on the areas of the brain that have been damaged by the disease.

The hippocampus is often affected early on in Alzheimer’s disease. This area of the brain is responsible for laying down new memories. That’s why memory problems are one of the earliest symptoms in Alzheimer’s.

Unusual forms of Alzheimer’s disease can start with problems with vision or with language.

Read more about Alzheimer’s disease.

Impact On Families And Carers

Mike Faber: Dementia: Causes, Clinical Course, and Diagnosis.

In 2019, informal carers spent on average 5 hours per day providing care for people living with dementia. This can be overwhelming . Physical, emotional and financial pressures can cause great stress to families and carers, and support is required from the health, social, financial and legal systems. Fifty percent of the global cost of dementia is attributed to informal care.

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Which Types Of Dementia Are Hereditary

Its true that genes might have a role in dementia, but the patterns of inheritance vary. Environmental and lifestyle factors also greatly affect our chances of developing a particular disease we may have inherited, so an active, healthy lifestyle is important to avoid many types of illness.

With that being said, current research shows that people who have a parent or sibling with Alzheimers are more likely to develop the disease than those who do not. There also is a difference between early-onset and late-onset, with the latter putting individuals at higher risk. Again, this research is still being developed and depends a lot on the health of the individual.

On the other hand, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, and fronto-temporal dementia have not yet been linked to genetics in most cases. The genetic factors instead are linked more to the underlying causes of these dementias or the possibility of gene links to other aspects of these conditions. So out of the four common types of dementia, Alzheimers is the type with the most likely genetic link based on current research.

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
  • Forgetfulness
  • 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.

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Risk Factors And Prevention

Although age is the strongest known risk factor for dementia, it is not an inevitable consequence of biological ageing. Further, dementia does not exclusively affect older people young onset dementia accounts for up to 9% of cases. Studies show that people can reduce their risk of cognitive decline and dementia by being physically active, not smoking, avoiding harmful use of alcohol, controlling their weight, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Additional risk factors include depression, social isolation, low educational attainment, cognitive inactivity and air pollution.

Memory Loss Or Dementia

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In short, dementia, whatever the type, is characterized by various symptoms like memory losses, learning difficulties, language troubles, confusion, mood and personality changes, bad decisions, difficulty in thinking, depression, loss of interest for some activities, etc. Thus, we cant only consider memory disorders to determine if a parent is affected by Alzheimers disease or another type of dementia. In fact, cognitive problems associated with memory may, sometimes, have another origin, like drugs interaction, drinking alcohol, depression, thyroid problems or a lack of vitamins.

If you think one of your parents suffers from Alzheimer of dementia, it is better to visit a doctor, specialized in geriatrics for example. Tell them about the behaviours and troubles that seem to touch the concerned person, in this way the doctor will be able to determine if it actually is dementia, and what type it is. Then they will direct you towards adapted treatments or approaches.

About Visavie Home Care Services

Since 1994, Visavie offers seniors in-home care services to preserve their autonomy and especially, continue to take advantage of the comfort of their home.

Besides, researches have shown that for a person with Alzheimers disease, remaining in a familiar surrounding helps manage the challenges related to memory loss.

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Support For Family And Friends

Currently, many people living with Alzheimers disease are cared for at home by family members. Caregiving can have positive aspects for the caregiver as well as the person being cared for. It may bring personal fulfillment to the caregiver, such as satisfaction from helping a family member or friend, and lead to the development of new skills and improved family relationships.

Although most people willingly provide care to their loved ones and friends, caring for a person with Alzheimers disease at home can be a difficult task and may become overwhelming at times. Each day brings new challenges as the caregiver copes with changing levels of ability and new patterns of behavior. As the disease gets worse, people living with Alzheimers disease often need more intensive care.

You can find more information about caring for yourself and access a helpful care planning form.

Data Extraction And Examination

The following information was extracted from the articles selected for full review: authors, country, date of publication, inclusion and exclusion criteria, demographic information, sample size at baseline and follow-up, population type, history of falls at baseline, fall definition, method of fall ascertainment, type of fall outcome , method for diagnosing dementia or cognitive impairment, and percentage of sample sustaining a fall. Data extracted for examination were adjusted risk estimates obtained from multi-variable regression analysis reported in the articles. For any given risk factor, if all risk estimates were in the same metric and from a unique study sample, a meta-analysis was performed to generate a summary risk estimate. Fixed-effects methodology was performed on the adjusted estimates to generate summary values. Statistical tests of homogeneity were performed on the summary estimates obtained from the fixed-effects methodology using Cochran’s 2 test for homogeneity and the percentage of total variation across studies attributable to heterogeneity .

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Isnt Dementia Part Of Normal Aging

No, many older adults live their entire lives without developing dementia. Normal aging may include weakening muscles and bones, stiffening of arteries and vessels, and some age-related memory changes that may show as:

  • Occasionally misplacing car keys
  • Struggling to find a word but remembering it later
  • Forgetting the name of an acquaintance
  • Forgetting the most recent events

Normally, knowledge and experiences built over years, old memories, and language would stay intact.

Who Has Alzheimers Disease

What Is Dementia? | Dementia Explained
  • In 2020, as many as 5.8 million Americans were living with Alzheimers disease.1
  • Younger people may get Alzheimers disease, but it is less common.
  • The number of people living with the disease doubles every 5 years beyond age 65.
  • This number is projected to nearly triple to 14 million people by 2060.1
  • Symptoms of the disease can first appear after age 60, and the risk increases with age.

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Is Dementia A Mental Illness And How Is It Diagnosed

More than a century ago dementia was used by doctors to cover a very broad range of mental health conditions, including many diseases where the symptoms of cognitive decline were not permanent, and pretty much anyone who showed signs of cognitive dysfunction was considered to be demented. Age related dementia cases were relatively rare a hundred years ago due to the fact the majority of people did not live long enough to fall victim to diseases such as Alzheimers.

For dementia to be diagnosed as a condition in todays more enlightened times, the symptoms must have been present for at least six months. Unlike recognized mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder, the symptoms of dementia are normally permanent and tend to occur in patients aged 65 and above. However, a small percentage of dementia cases are seen in younger patients and this is referred to as early onset dementia.

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Key Investments By The Public Health Agency Of Canada

Beyond monitoring the implementation of the broad scope of the national dementia strategy, PHAC continues to support implementation of elements of the strategy that fall within its mandate. Investments are being made in enhanced surveillance, community-based projects, improved dementia guidance and evidence-based public education and awareness raising activities that aim to prevent dementia, reduce stigma, and enable dementia-inclusive communities. To ensure that the perspectives of those with lived experience are included, people living with dementia and caregivers are meaningfully engaged and included in all initiatives supported through PHAC’s work.

Dementia Strategic Fund

The Dementia Strategic Fund supports efforts to further progress on two of the strategy’s national objectives, prevention and quality of life, through the creation of a national public education/awareness campaign and targeted awareness raising activities, improvements to dementia guidance such as guidelines and best practices, and the creation of a comprehensive online dementia portal to share information resources.

National awareness campaign

François Morency is a French-Canadian comedian, actor, author and television host. He currently stars in a hit TV show that is largely based on his relationship with his parents and is watched by millions. He recently lost his mother. She was 92 and had dementia.

Targeted awareness raising activities
Dementia guidance

Dementia Community Investment

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What Is The Burden Of Alzheimers Disease In The United States

  • Alzheimers disease is one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States.2
  • The 6th leading cause of death among US adults.
  • The 5th leading cause of death among adults aged 65 years or older.3

In 2020, an estimated 5.8 million Americans aged 65 years or older had Alzheimers disease.1 This number is projected to nearly triple to 14 million people by 2060.1

In 2010, the costs of treating Alzheimers disease were projected to fall between $159 and $215 billion.4 By 2040, these costs are projected to jump to between $379 and more than $500 billion annually.4

Death rates for Alzheimers disease are increasing, unlike heart disease and cancer death rates that are on the decline.5 Dementia, including Alzheimers disease, has been shown to be under-reported in death certificates and therefore the proportion of older people who die from Alzheimers may be considerably higher.6

Aging

What Are The Early Warning Signs Of Dementia To Watch For

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Now that you know the four common types of dementia, there are 10 early symptoms you should watch for if you begin to notice changes in your loved one. Noticing memory problems in your loved one doesnt immediately mean its dementia.

There needs to be at least two types of impairment that are significantly impacting the person: memory loss plus difficulty with communication, language, focus, or reasoning.

Here are 10 early symptoms of dementia to watch for:

  • Short-term memory changes such as forgetting where they placed something, what they ate for lunch, or what they were supposed to do that day
  • Trouble finding the right words to express their thoughts
  • Mood changes, personality shifts, and depression
  • Apathy, or losing interest in hobbies or social activities
  • Trouble completing their usual daily tasks or learning new things
  • Confusion as they begin to forget familiar faces or appropriate social interactions
  • Difficulty following along in conversations or TV programs
  • Losing their sense of direction
  • Repeating tasks, phrases, or questions because they forgot it already was addressed
  • Fear and trouble adapting to new experiences
  • If your loved one is beginning to experience these symptoms, talk to their doctor to rule out any other factors and get a proper diagnosis. An early diagnosis and treatment can be beneficial, so dont delay in getting help.

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