Dementia & Alzheimer’s Guide

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Dementia Myths

Dementia & Alzheimer’s

Dementia is a health condition that is actually an illness of the brain. It is not, as is generally believed, an illness where the brain stops functioning. Instead, brain cells are damaged and therefore, die earlier than they should, thereby causing the brain to work with decreased efficiency.

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Over a long period of time, the efficiency of the brain is lowered to an extent, which causes a patient to not be able to do even the most general jobs.

Dementia first affects the memory part of the brain, causing a person to first forget names and then even forget who they are or where they are. Dementia patients may become almost lifeless in the later stages and then may require help with washing, eating, etc. They tend to lose interest in all activities and may repeat a question over and over again.

Contrary to general belief, Dementia is not a part of growing old. The only relation with age is increased risk. It affects 5% of the people aged 65 and about 20% with ages over 80.

Also, Dementia is not related to stress or the level of mental activity. This means it is not caused due to stress or more mental activity. It is also not infectious.

There are mainly four types of Dementia-related illnesses

  1. The most common type of Dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. This is caused by a loss of brain cells and is probably related to an imbalance in the brain fluids.
  2. The second most common form of Dementia is Vascular Dementia. This type of Dementia is caused by a poor supply of blood to the brain.
  3. The next form of Dementia is Lewy Body Dementia. Its effects include hallucinations, unsteadiness and bouts of abnormal behavior.
  4. The last form is Alcohol-related Dementia, which as the name suggests, is caused by drinking too much alcohol.

Even though it is necessary to contact a neurologist for any and all symptoms, their occurring is not necessarily the onset of Dementia. Forgetting the day and date is not at all unusual and can happen to almost everyone.

It must be remembered that not everyone has a perfect memory and therefore, usual forgetfulness is not a cause of worry. Also, not every elderly person suffers from this disease and even in those who do, the symptoms may remain minor for a number of years.

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