Senility: What It Is And What It Isnt
Senile dementia was mentioned in the writings of Hippocrates and Pythagoras during the GrecoâRoman era. It was recognized by Bacon in 1290, by dePratis during the 1500s, and by Pinel during the 1800s when he reformed the treatment of the mentally ill. At the turn of the 20th century, Alzheimer defined clinical and physiological brain lesions of senile dementia, now referred to as Alzheimerâs disease.
1.2Definition of Normal and Impaired Cognitive Functioning
Working memory becomes less efficient in the older person. Working memory may be thought of as the ability to retain or temporarily store some information while at the same time accessing or using other information to perform a task. A complex environment, such as a loud and busy room, may interfere with working memory performance in the elderly. Working memory is needed in problem solving.
In terms of problem solving, the older person has more experiences to draw on, so decision making may be more effective in the older person than in the younger and less experienced person. Some refer to this as judgment or wisdom.
H.S. Anderson, in, 2015
How To Understand The Difference And Why It Matters
by Kathleen Fifield, AARP, Updated June 15, 2020
Doctors usually rely on observation and ruling out other factors to diagnose Alzheimer’s.
En español | The terms dementia and Alzheimers have been around for more than a century, which means people have likely been mixing them up for that long, too. But knowing the difference is important. In the simplest terms, one is broader than the other. If the two were nesting dolls, Alzheimers would fit inside dementia, but not the other way around. While Alzheimers disease is the most common form of dementia , there are several other types. The second most common form, vascular dementia, has a very different cause namely, high blood pressure. Other types of dementia include alcohol-related dementia, Parkinsons dementia and frontotemporal dementia each has different causes as well. In addition, certain medical conditions can cause serious memory problems that resemble dementia.
A correct diagnosis means the right medicines, remedies and support. For example, knowing that you have Alzheimers instead of another type of dementia might lead to a prescription for a cognition-enhancing drug instead of an antidepressant. Finally, you may be eligible to participate in a clinical trial for Alzheimers if youve been specifically diagnosed with the disease.
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.
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What Are The Most Common Types Of Dementia
- Alzheimers disease. This is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of cases. It is caused by specific changes in the brain. The trademark symptom is trouble remembering recent events, such as a conversation that occurred minutes or hours ago, while difficulty remembering more distant memories occurs later in the disease. Other concerns like difficulty with walking or talking or personality changes also come later. Family history is the most important risk factor. Having a first-degree relative with Alzheimers disease increases the risk of developing it by 10 to 30 percent.
- Vascular dementia. About 10 percent of dementia cases are linked to strokes or other issues with blood flow to the brain. Diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are also risk factors. Symptoms vary depending on the area and size of the brain impacted. The disease progresses in a step-wise fashion, meaning symptoms will suddenly get worse as the individual gets more strokes or mini-strokes.
- Lewy body dementia. In addition to more typical symptoms like memory loss, people with this form of dementia may have movement or balance problems like stiffness or trembling. Many people also experience changes in alertness including daytime sleepiness, confusion or staring spells. They may also have trouble sleeping at night or may experience visual hallucinations .
The Difference Between Frontal Lobe Dementia And Alzheimers Disease Conclusion
As this article clearly states, there is a difference between frontal lobe dementia and Alzheimers disease. Yet, there are just as many likenesses between them. Family members need to have their elderly loved ones checked often for any brain disorders. Remember, it will take doctors time to come up with a proper diagnosis of Alzheimers or other dementia illnesses.Applewood Our House in Lakewood, Golden and Arvada work with our residents and their doctors to ensure that they are getting regular checkups and the right diagnosis. By checking these disorders early on, you are likely to ensure that your loved one lives longer and has a better outlook on life.
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Treating Alzheimers Disease Vs Other Types Of Dementia
Neither Alzheimerâs nor most other types of dementia have a cure. Doctors focus treatments on managing symptoms and keeping the disease from getting worse.
Some of the treatments for dementia and Alzheimerâs overlap.
- Cholinesterase inhibitors can help with memory loss in certain types of dementia and Alzheimerâs.
- Glutamate inhibitors help with learning and memory in both dementia and Alzheimerâs.
- Sleep medications may help with sleep changes.
- Antidepressants can help with depression symptoms.
- Antipsychotic medications may help with behavior changes.
Some types of dementia respond to treatment, depending on what is causing it. Your doctor may recommend:
- Stopping the use of drugs and alcohol
- Tumor removal
Alzheimerâs Association: âCreutzfeldt-Jakob Disease,â âFrontotemporal Dementia,â âTypes of Dementia,â âWhat is Alzheimerâs?â
Alzheimerâs Disease International: âWorld Alzheimerâs Report 2015.â
Alzheimerâs Society: âSight, perception and hallucinations in dementia.â
BrightFocus Foundation: âWhatâs the Difference Between Dementia & Alzheimerâs Disease?â âTreatments for Alzheimerâs Disease.â
Dementia Society of America: âDementia FAQs.â
Fisher Center for Alzheimerâs Research Foundation: âDementia vs. Alzheimerâs.â
Visiting Nurse Association of Ohio: âAlzheimerâs Versus Dementia.â
Mayo Clinic: âAlzheimerâs Disease,â âDementia.â
Cleveland Clinic: âDementia.â
Religion Spirituality Health And Well
It is a major premise of this article that todays detrimental stressful existence impedes the creation of a healthy lifestyle, including psychological and spiritual well-being, while well-being augments brain function and may prevent AD . Most people intuitively know what religion is: the practice of a certain set of rules, rituals, and traditions that bring one closer to God. However, what is spirituality itself?
In 2008, Koenig argued that spirituality should be sharply defined, especially from a research perspective . In his 2020 Handbook of Spirituality, Religion, and Mental Health, he states, however, that people in Western nations are going through a transition to less religious identity over all . For exa-mple, he cites that 89% of Americans believe in God, 90% pray on a regular basis, yet only 77% report aff-iliation with a religious group . However, 82% acknowledge the need for spiritual growth . Also of note is that 84% of the worlds population is religiously affiliated, and 68% of unaffiliated individuals believe in a higher power . Additionally, according to a Yoga Alliance/Yoga International study published in 2016, at least 36 million Americans practice yoga and 300 million do so worldwide, while 80 million Americans are likely to try yoga within 12 months . The number of people who meditate in the US is now at least 35 million .
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Ivcognitive Dysfunction And Dementia
Patients with SDAT have reduced CBF and CMRGlc, particularly in the frontal and temporal neocortex, paralleling neuropathological findings and patterns of cholinergic innervation . Physostigmine, an anticholinesterase, increased CBF measured with HMPAO SPECT in the right frontal cortex of patients with SDAT. In another study, posterior parietal CBF increases were seen in patients but not controls . Increased CMRGlc has been reported as well. Physostigmine reduces the CBF activation during a âfrontal lobeâ working memory task in normal volunteers, suggesting increased processing efficiency. Reports of the effect of tacrine, the only drug approved for SDAT treatment, on CBF have been contradictory, and the link between blood flow modulation and cognitive improvement is weak. In one study, tacrine was given to three patients with mild SDAT in doses between 80 and 160 mg daily for 13â31 months. Improvement in nicotine binding, CBF, EEG, trail making, and block design tests occurred earlier after initiation of tacrine treatment compared with the glucose metabolism, which did not increase until after several months of tacrine treatment . After treatment with donepezil, improvement was noted on neuropsychological testing and occipital perfusion on SPECT . Although some investigators have tried to use EEG to monitor the effect of therapy for SDAT, the results have been inconsistent .
What Causes Lewy Body Dementia
The causes of LBD are not yet well understood, but research is ongoing in this area. There are probably multiple factors involved, including genetic and environmental risk factors that combine with natural aging processes to make someone susceptible to LBD.
For more information, visit www.lbda.org.
Modified with permission from the Lewy Body Dementia Association
To learn more about motor symptoms related to Parkinsons, visit here.
To learn more about non-motor symptoms related to Parkinsons, visit here.
Spiritual Fitness: The New Dimension In Alzheimers Disease Prevention
We have discussed extensively the effects of chr-onic unrelenting stress on cognitive health and well-being. We have suggested that not only do people who practice spiritual techniques such as KK lower their risk for dementia, they may enter a new dimension called spiritual fitness, an interweaving of basic, psychological, and spiritual well-being . Since the components of spiritual fitness as defined below are used to help moderate life stressors and soften their effects on mental and physical health, spiritual fitness may reduce their effects on cognitive functioning through this clear pathway . Spiritual fitness may affect AD risk by reducing depressive symptoms, engendering positive emotions, and influencing affirmative personality traits such as conscientiousness, optimism, and agreeableness, as well as the other attributes of spiritual fitness, including the development of inner peace . Spiritual fitness also includes greater social support, larger social networks, and less loneliness, critically important during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has lowered emotional well-being by as much as 74% . It is also associated with a greater likelihood of marital and family stability. These influences may also result in a lower risk for AD .
Senile And Presenile Dementia Of The Alzheimer Type
Senile dementia represents the most common type of organic brain syndrome encountered in clinical practice. It is now generally recognized that the only clinical differences between senile and presenile dementia of the Alzheimer type relate to age of onset and rapidity of course, the presenile variety showing a more fulminant progression. This is indeed true for EEG changes as well, with virtually all patients with presenile dementia demonstrating pathologic EEG activity on the initial recording . With early, and occasionally even late, senile dementia, EEG changes, though often present, may not yet be in the pathologic range.
The earliest EEG alterations with senile or presenile dementia are a decrease in the frequency of the posterior rhythm along with diminution of the amplitude of all background activity . Later, a buildup of generalized irregular slowing and disappearance of fast activity can be seen , though it should be noted that the appearance of such changes often lags behind deterioration in the clinical presentation. In severely demented patients, paroxysmal or even triphasic patterns may occasionally be seen. Focal slowing is uncommon, being present in only 10% of the cases.
Marie E. Cowart, in, 2004
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Dementia
Because dementia is a general term, its symptoms can vary widely from person to person. People with dementia have problems with:
- Reasoning, judgment, and problem solving
- Visual perception beyond typical age-related changes in vision
Signs that may point to dementia include:
- Getting lost in a familiar neighborhood
- Using unusual words to refer to familiar objects
- Forgetting the name of a close family member or friend
- Forgetting old memories
- Not being able to complete tasks independently
Causes Of Frontotemporal Dementia
This is an important cause of dementia in younger people. It’s most often diagnosed between the ages of 45 and 65.
It’s caused by an abnormal clumping of proteins, including tau, in the frontal and temporal lobes at the front and sides of the brain.
The clumping of these proteins damages nerve cells in the frontal and temporal lobes, causing brain cells to die. This leads to shrinking of these areas of the brain.
Frontotemporal dementia is more likely to run in families than other, more common causes of dementia.
Read more about frontotemporal dementia.
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How Is Dementia Treated
Treatment of dementia depends on the underlying cause. Neurodegenerative dementias, like Alzheimers disease, have no cure, though there are medications that can help protect the brain or manage symptoms such as anxiety or behavior changes. Research to develop more treatment options is ongoing.
Leading a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, healthy eating, and maintaining social contacts, decreases chances of developing chronic diseases and may reduce number of people with dementia.
Alzheimers Vs Dementia: The Main Differences
Even though Alzheimers disease and dementia are used interchangeably, there are distinct variations between the two. It is easy to confuse the two terms, however, understanding the differences between Alzheimers vs. dementia can help to personalize your approach towards them.
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Causes Of Dementia With Lewy Bodies
Lewy bodies are tiny clumps of a protein called alpha-synuclein that can develop inside brain cells.
These clumps damage the way the cells work and communicate with each other, and the brain cells eventually die.
Dementia with Lewy bodies is closely related to Parkinson’s disease and often has some of the same symptoms, including difficulty with movement and a higher risk of falls.
Read more about dementia with Lewy bodies.
The Seven Stages Of Dementia
One of the most difficult things to hear about dementia is that, in most cases, dementia is irreversible and incurable. However, with an early diagnosis and proper care, the progression of some forms of dementia can be managed and slowed down. The cognitive decline that accompanies dementia conditions does not happen all at once – the progression of dementia can be divided into seven distinct, identifiable stages.
Learning about the stages of dementia can help with identifying signs and symptoms early on, as well as assisting sufferers and caretakers in knowing what to expect in further stages. The earlier dementia is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can start.
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What Is Lewy Body Dementia
Lewy body dementia is not a single disorder but rather a spectrum of closely-related disorders involving disturbances of cognition, behavior, sleep, movement and autonomic function.
In these progressive disorders, Lewy bodies build up in the brain. Lewy bodies in the brain stem cause a disruption in the production of chemical messengers called dopamine. Too little dopamine can cause parkinsonism, a clinical syndrome thats characterized by tremor, bradykinesia , rigidity and postural instability. Parkinsonism can be caused by Parkinsons disease itself as well as by other underlying neurological conditions such as LBD. These Lewy bodies are also found throughout other areas of the brain, including the cerebral cortex. The neurotransmitter acetylcholine is also depleted, causing disruption of perception, thinking and behavior.
A German neurologist, Friederich H. Lewy, first discovered the abnormal protein deposits in the early 1900s as he was conducting research on Parkinsons disease.
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.
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How Are They Different
When a person is diagnosed with dementia, they are being diagnosed with a set of symptoms. This is similar to someone who has a sore throat. Their throat is sore but it is not known what is causing that particular symptom. It could be allergies, a common cold or strep throat. Similarly, when someone has dementia they are experiencing symptoms without being told what is causing those symptoms.
Another major difference between the two is that Alzheimers is not a reversible disease. It is degenerative and incurable at this time. Some forms of dementia, such as a drug interaction or a vitamin deficiency, are actually reversible or temporary.
Once a cause of dementia is found, appropriate treatment and counseling can begin. Until a proper diagnosis is made, the best approach to any dementia is communication, engagement and loving care.
Spiritual Fitness: A New Dimension In Alzheimers Disease Prevention
Article type: Review Article
Affiliations: Alzheimers Research and Prevention Foundation, Tucson, AZ, USA | Department of Integrative Medicine and Nutritional Sciences, Department of Radiology, Marcus Institute of Integrative Health, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Correspondence: Correspondence to: Dharma Singh Khalsa, MD, President/ Medical Director, Alzheimers Research and Prevention Foundation, PO Box 30783, Tucson, AZ 85751-0883, USA. Tel.: +1 888 988 5766 E-mail: .
Keywords: Alzheimers disease prevention, kirtan kriya meditation, neurotheology, peace of mind, psychological well-being, purpose in life, spiritual fitness, spiritual well-being, spiritual/religious involvement, unlimited love
Journal: Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, vol. 80, no. 2, pp. 505-519, 2021
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