According to MedicalNewsToday, Dementia is not a single disease in itself, but a general term to describe symptoms of impairment in memory, communication, and thinking.
A person with dementia may show any of these symptoms, mostly due to memory loss.
Some symptoms they may notice themselves, others may only be noticed by caregivers or healthcare workers.
Possible symptoms of dementia:
As the patient ages, late-stage dementia symptoms tend to worsen.
Sometimes, dementia is roughly split into four stages:
Mild cognitive impairment: characterized by general forgetfulness. This affects many people as they age but it only progresses to dementia for some.
Mild dementia: people with mild dementia will experience cognitive impairments that occasionally impact their daily life. Symptoms include memory loss, confusion, personality changes, getting lost, and difficulty in planning and carrying out tasks.
Moderate dementia: daily life becomes more challenging, and the individual may need more help. Symptoms are similar to mild dementia but increased. Individuals may need help getting dressed and combing their hair. They may also show significant changes in personality; for instance, becoming suspicious or agitated for no reason. There are also likely to be sleep disturbances.
Severe dementia: at this stage, symptoms have worsened considerably. There may be a loss of ability to communicate, and the individual might need full-time care. Simple tasks, such as sitting and holding one’s head up become impossible. Bladder control may be lost.
Brain cell death cannot be reversed, so there is no known cure for degenerative dementia.
Management of disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, is instead focused on providing care and treating symptoms rather than their underlying cause.
If dementia symptoms are due to a reversible, non-degenerative cause, however, treatment may be possible to prevent or halt further brain tissue damage.
Examples include injury, medication effects, and vitamin deficiency.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can be reduced by some medications. There are four drugs, called cholinesterase inhibitors, approved for use in the U.S.:
A different kind of drug, memantine (Namenda), an NMDA receptor antagonist, may also be used, alone or in combination with a cholinesterase inhibitor.
There’s no sure way to prevent dementia, but there are steps you can take that might help, here are some risk factors:
Though dementia generally involves memory loss, memory loss has different causes. Having memory loss alone doesn’t mean you have dementia.