How Common Is Dementia
Research shows there are more than 850,000 people in the UK who have dementia. One in 14 people over the age of 65 have dementia, and the condition affects 1 in 6 people over 80.
The number of people with dementia is increasing because people are living longer. It is estimated that by 2025, the number of people with dementia in the UK will be more than 1 million.
What Is Vascular Dementia
The word dementia describes a set of symptoms that can include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. In vascular dementia, these symptoms occur when the brain is damaged because of problems with the supply of blood to the brain.
These pages outline the causes, types and symptoms of vascular dementia. It looks at how it is diagnosed and the factors that can put someone at risk of developing it. It also describes the treatment and support that are available.
Press play to watch a three-minute video about vascular dementia:
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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The Use Of The Word Senile
The common use of the word senile loosely references the loss of cognitive abilities or the inability to think clearly.
Senile was used more commonly in the past, especially when memory loss and confusion were thought of, by some, as a normal consequence of getting older. The view used to be that the body and the mind both could be expected to decline together as someone aged, and that poor mental functioning was just a normal part of aging.
An individual was often described as having “senile dementia” or “senile Alzheimer’s,” meaning that the disease and its associated mental decline developed in older age.
Although still occasionally used, this term has lost its popularity, partly because it has a negative, disrespectful tone, as in, “The old man is senile.”
Science has shown that significant memory loss, disorientation, and confusion are not normal parts of aging, but rather are symptoms of neurocognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, or Lewy body dementia.
Senile is sometimes used to describe the plaques that build up in the brain as Alzheimer’s disease progresses. These senile plaques, along with neurofibrillary tangles, are often described as the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease,
What Is The Medical Model For Dementia
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The social model, or person-centeredmodel of care, provides a homey, more active environment and focuses supporting a patient with dementia through a social environment. In the social model approach of dementia care, the focus is placed on the residents’ cognitive needs rather than on medical or physical needs.
Similarly, what are the most common causes of dementia? The most common causes of dementia include:
- Degenerative neurological diseases.
- Traumatic brain injuries caused by car accidents, falls, concussions, etc.
- Infections of the central nervous system.
- Long-time alcohol or drug use.
- Certain types of hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid in the brain.
Just so, why dementia should be viewed as a disability?
little or no voice for the person with dementia. Dementia is considered an impairment causing disabilities as a result of the social/ structural arrangements in society. The focus is on altering the social/structural environments to eliminate or mitigate the negative experience of disability.
What are the prevalence rates for different types of dementia?
Different types of dementia
- 2/3. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia accounting for two-thirds of all cases, around 500,000 people in the UK.
- Up to 20% of dementia cases have a vascular cause.
- Less than 5% of dementia cases are caused by frontotemporal dementia .
- Over 42,000.
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Why It’s Important To Get A Diagnosis
Although there is no cure for dementia at the moment, an early diagnosis means its progress can be slowed down in some cases, so the person may be able to maintain their mental function for longer.
A diagnosis helps people with dementia get the right treatment and support. It can also help them, and the people close to them, to prepare for the future.
Read more about how dementia is diagnosed.
Dementia With Lewy Bodies
Dementia with Lewy bodies, also known as Lewy body dementia, is caused by protein deposits in nerve cells. This interrupts chemical messages in the brain and causes memory loss and disorientation.
People with this type of dementia also experience visual hallucinations and have trouble falling asleep at night or fall asleep unexpectedly during the day. They also might faint or become lost or disoriented.
Dementia with Lewy bodies shares many symptoms with Parkinson and Alzheimer diseases. For example, many people develop trembling in their hands, have trouble walking, and feel weak.
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Medical Definition Of Dementia
- Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Reviewed on 3/29/2021
Dementia: Significant loss of intellectual abilities, such as memory capacity, that is severe enough to interfere with social or occupational functioning. Criteria for the diagnosis of dementia include impairment of attention, orientation, memory, judgment, language, motor and spatial skills, and function. By definition, dementia is not due to major depression or schizophrenia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. Other causes include AIDS, alcoholism, brain injury, vascular dementia , dementia with Lewy bodies, brain tumors, drug toxicity, infection of brain, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, meningitis, Pick disease, syphilis, and hypothyroidism.
What To Do If You Suspect Your Family Member Is Showing Symptoms Of Dementia
If you notice a change in a family member’s ability to recall information, repeating themselves, becoming confused, struggling with their vocabulary or completing tasks that would otherwise seem easy , consider accompanying them to an appointment with their family doctor as soon as possible.
A doctor can perform memory tests and others to measure blood pressure and check levels of various chemicals, hormones and vitamins in the body. The family physician can refer the patient to a memory clinic as well, where more testing can be done to determine if the diagnosis is dementia.
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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.
Personally tailored activities
Impact On Families And Carers
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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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.
Symptoms Of Dementia Praecox
Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder that causes a warped interpretation of reality. Its a complex condition that can affect reasoning, speech, or behavior, and is estimated to affect from 0.25% to 0.64% of people in the United States. Individuals with schizophrenia can exhibit the following symptoms.
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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 60-70% of cases. Other major forms include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies , and a group of diseases that contribute to frontotemporal dementia . Dementia may also develop after a stroke or in the context of certain infections such as HIV, harmful use of alcohol, repetitive physical injuries to the brain or nutritional deficiencies. The boundaries between different forms of dementia are indistinct and mixed forms often co-exist.
Glossary Of Alzheimer’s Disease Terms
Your loved oneâs doctors and other health care professionals may use some of these terms when they talk with you. Some are related to Alzheimerâs. Others are about legal documents that can help you manage the care they get. Scan through this A-Z list of terms so you are familiar with whatâs discussed.
Activities of daily living : Everyday tasks such as eating, bathing, grooming, dressing, and going to the bathroom.
Adult day services: Programs that give people with Alzheimerâs a safe place to spend time with others, usually in a community center or dedicated facility. They donât stay there overnight.
Advance directive: A legal document that states your wishes about how much medical care you would want in the case of an emergency. You may hear these called a âliving willâ or âa power of attorneyâ for health care.
Adverse reaction: A side effect.
Complementary therapies: The use of techniques other than drugs, surgery, or other routine medical care. You may also hear it called âalternativeâ medicine.
Amyloid: A protein thatâs found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. It builds up into a âplaqueâ or âtangles.â
Apathy: Lack of interest, concern, or emotion.
Aphasia: Trouble understanding what people are saying or speaking.
Art therapy: A form of therapy that allows people with dementia to express their feelings through art.
Autonomy: A person’s ability to make their own choices.
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Can Early Detection Help Prevent Or Treat Dementia
While there is no cure for dementia, early detection can be beneficial with putting systems in place before these symptoms worsen.
If someone is diagnosed at an earlier stage, they can begin memory treatments and take medications that can help manage the condition. Doctors also suggest putting home care and day programs in place as additional supports.
“Someone who has not been diagnosed may have a crisis of memory loss where they might be missing their medications or not eating due to forgetfulness which would then lead to a sudden health crisis and hospitalization, Frank says.
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Patient Discussion About Dementia
Q. how is dementia and alcoholism related
Q. Is obesity a risk factor for Dementia?
Q. discussing my father situation with the doctor My 82 years old dad has dementia, and currently lives with us at my home. For the last few weeks he’s very nervous and sometimes yells and screams at us. I want to take him to the doctor and see if he can get any help, but I’m afraid that if I’ll try to speak with doctor about this subject in front of my dad he’ll take offense. What can I do?Thank you very much!
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Frontotemporal Dementia With Parkinsonism
One form of familial FTD, also known as frontotemporal dementia with Parkinsonism-17 , is caused by genetic changes in the gene for tau protein, located on chromosome 17. No other risk factors for this condition are known.
FTDP-17 is rare and accounts for only three per cent of all cases of dementia. Symptoms progressively get worse over time and usually appear between the ages of 40 and 60. The condition affects both thinking and behavioural skills and movements such as rigidity, lack of facial expression and problems with balance .
It can be distressing to be told that you have a genetic disorder or are at risk of having one. Genetic counselling provides the person and their family with information about a genetic disorder and its likely impact on their lives. This can assist a person with FTDP-17 to make informed medical and personal decisions about how to manage their condition and the challenges it presents to their health and wellbeing. Prenatal genetic counselling is also available for parents to help them decide about a pregnancy that may be at risk of FTDP-17.
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.
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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:
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.
Can Dementia Be Prevented Or Avoided
There is little you can do to prevent or avoid dementia. If you have a head injury or brain tumor, ask your doctor if there are lifestyle changes you can make. Youll want to take precautions to avoid additional head trauma or concussions. If youre at risk of stroke, talk to your doctor about possible preventions.
Currently, the American Academy of Family Physicians concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for cognitive impairment.
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What Is Dementia Definition Description And Diagnosis
The World Health Organization figures show that 50 million people worldwide are affected by dementia, with 10 million new cases diagnosed every year. Dementia disease has become a major challenge throughout the world. When it affects you or someone close to you, the problem becomes even more real for you. The first thing you need to know is a complete answer to the question ‘What is dementia?’
How Dementia Is Different From Senility
Dementia includes a broad range of brain conditions that cause a progressive decline in a person’s ability to think and remember. Moreover, the loss of these abilities makes it increasingly difficult for people to function or care for themselves.
The most common causes of dementia include Alzheimer’s disease, followed by vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, and frontotemporal dementia. Other less common causes include Parkinson’s associated dementia, Huntington’s disease, tertiary syphilis, HIV-associated dementia, and CreutzfeldtJakob disease.
There is no cure for dementia, and the progression of the condition is typically slow. Medical professionals usually classify dementia by stage based on symptoms.
Stages may be classified as follows:
- Early-stage dementia is diagnosed when daily life is starting to become impacted. It is usually characterized by forgetfulness, inability to find words, repeating things, and difficulty in managing routine tasks like finances or shopping.
- Middle-stage dementia will affect a person’s ability to function both inside and outside of the home. A person will typically lose almost all new information within moments of receiving it and exhibit impairment of social judgment and general problem-solving, and will often get lost. Challenging behaviors often develop in mid-stage dementia.
- Late-stage dementia is the stage where a person requires assistance with all activities of daily living, such as eating, bathing, and dressing.
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