Understanding Dementia: Things You Should Know

No one wants to be a victim of dementia but it can easily destroy the lives of the patients and leaving their relationships in shambles. This is the worst thing that could happen. With this, it is important that you know things about dementia so you will know what you are facing and how to tackle it in case you have it or your close family.

Dementia is the medical condition characterized by a decline in a person’s mental ability that is serious enough to restrict his/her everyday activities. There are many types of dementia and the most recognized being Alzheimer’s. In fact, Alzheimer’s account for about 60–80% of cases of dementia not only here in Singapore but around the world. It is time that you know many things about it. Here are some:

Symptoms

Be reminded that the symptoms of dementia vary greatly but there are at least two of the following mental functions impaired by dementia: visual perception, communication and language and ability to pay attention and focus. Most cases of dementia are progressive, this means that symptoms begin slowly and then gradually worsen. If you notice any changes in thinking skills of your loved ones, do not ignore them. You have to get professional help. Early evaluation may discover treatable solutions.

Causes

You already know that dementia caused damage in the brain cells. This damage will eventually inhibit the brain cells’ knack to connect to each other. What happens when brain cells do not connect normally? Then it will affect one’s thinking, feelings and behaviour.

Diagnosis

Doctors are urging the people to have their loved ones check as soon as they noticed one or two of the symptoms mentioned above. You have to know that there is no test that will determine dementia right away. Doctors will carefully diagnose based on medical history, laboratory tests, physical examination and other things. However, doctors find it hard to identify the exact type of dementia since symptoms may overlap.

Treatment

The treatment will depend on the case. In the case of Alzheimer’s, there is no cure or treatment that can help slow down its progression however there are certain drugs that can temporarily improve one’s symptoms. As for the future of treatment, more studies need to be made and increased participation when it comes to clinical studies.

Prevention

Risk factors like genetics and age cannot be altered. Researchers are still engaged in exploring other risk factors contributing to brain health and its prevention. For example cardiovascular risk can be reduced through diet and physical exercise.

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