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All about dementia types of dementia risk factors for dementia causes of dementia symptoms of dementia diagnosis of dementia dementia treatments long term dementia care alcohol-related dementia frontal lobe dementia senile dementia (Alzheimer dementia) early onset dementia AIDS related dementia Alzheimer's disease (Alzheimer dementia) types of Alzheimer's disease Alzheimer dementia stages causes of Alzheimer's disease risk factors for Alzheimer's disease warning signs of Alzheimer's disease symptoms of Alzheimer's disease diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease treatment for Alzheimer's disease Alzheimer's disease medications Alzheimer's disease diet Alzheimer's disease exercise therapy prognosis of Alzheimer's disease vascular dementia vascular dementia types multi-infarct dementia Binswanger's disease causes of vascular dementia vascular dementia risk factors vascular dementia symptoms diagnosis of vascular dementia treatments for vascular dementia lewy body dementia lewy body dementia causes lewy body dementia symptoms diagnosing lewy body dementia treatment of lewy body dementia Pick's disease causes of Pick's disease symptoms of Pick's disease diagnosis of Pick's disease treatment for Pick's disease

What's dementia?

Dementia is a deterioration of intellectual function and other cognitive skills, leading to a decline in the ability to perform activities of daily living. Dementia is progressive decline in cognitive function due to damage or disease in the brain beyond what might be expected from normal aging. Particularly affected areas may be memory, attention, language and

problem solving, although particularly in the later stages of the condition, affected persons may be disoriented in time (not knowing what day, week, month or year it is), place (not knowing where they are) and person (not knowing who they are).

Dementia is a group of symptoms caused by gradual death of brain cells. The loss of cognitive abilities that occurs with dementia leads to impairments in memory, reasoning, planning, and personality. While the overwhelming number of people with dementia are elderly, it is not an inevitable part of aging. Instead, dementia is caused by specific brain diseases. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause, followed by vascular or multi-infarct dementia.

There are many causes of dementia, but the three most common are Alzheimer's disease, multi-infarct or vascular disease, and Lewy body disease. Alzheimer's accounts for about 50 percent of all dementia cases and is the result of nerve cell changes and a loss of brain cells. Approximately 11 percent of people older than 65 have Alzheimer's disease. Unlike Alzheimer's, multi-infarct dementia is caused by a series of small strokes. Lewy body dementia has symptoms of both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Parkinson's is caused by a reduction of the chemical dopamine, a substance that is essential to transmit brain signals. Symptoms of Parkinson's include tremor, stiffness and slowed movement. Parkinson's is a degenerative disease, and it is treatable but not curable.

Dementia is one of the most serious disorders affecting the elderly. The prevalence of dementia increases rapidly with age. The prevalence of dementia has been difficult to determine, partly because of differences in definition among different studies, and partly because there is some normal decline in functional ability with age. Dementia is most common in elderly people; it used to be called senility and was considered a normal part of aging. Dementia affects 5–8% of all people between ages 65 and 74, and up to 20% of those between 75 and 84. Estimates for dementia in those 85 and over range from 30–47%. Between two and four million Americans have Alzheimer's disease; that number is expected to grow to as many as 14 million by the middle of the 21st century as the population as a whole ages.

Dementia is a very serious condition that results in significant financial and human costs. When someone has dementia, brain cells are damaged and die faster than they would normally. Losing brain cells means that the brain does not work as well as it should, and gradually people lose the ability to do things. Often, memory is affected first and people forget important facts such as the name of their husband or wife. Later, as the illness progresses, people get confused about things like where they are, what day it is or who other people are. People with dementia may become listless and lose interest in activities that have previously been important to them. In the later stages, people lose the ability to look after themselves and may need help with washing, dressing and eating. Conversation becomes repetitive and the same question may be repeated over and over.

The cost of dementia can be considerable. While most people with dementia are retired and do not suffer income losses from their disease, the cost of care is often enormous. Financial burdens include lost wages for family caregivers, medical supplies and drugs, and home modifications to ensure safety. Nursing home care may cost several thousand dollars a month or more. The psychological cost is not as easily quantifiable but can be even more profound. The person with dementia loses control of many of the essential features of his life and personality, and loved ones lose a family member even as they continue to cope with the burdens of increasing dependence and unpredictability.

More information on dementia (Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, lewy body dementia, Pick's disease)

What is dementia? - Dementia is a deterioration of intellectual function and other cognitive skills. Dementia may involve progressive deterioration of thinking, memory, behavior, personality and motor function.
What types of dementia are there? - Types of dementia include Alzheimer's dementia, vascular dementias, Parkinson disease, Lewy body dementia, alcohol-related dementia, and Pick disease.
What're the risk factors for dementia? - The main risk factor for dementia is age. People who have sustained serious head injuries through boxing are prone to dementia pugilistica.
What causes dementia? - Dementia is caused by degeneration in the cerebral cortex including death of brain cells, conditions that impair the vascular or neurologic structures of the brain.
What're the symptoms of dementia? - The early symptom of dementia is diminished short-term memory. Patients with severe dementia cannot perform activities of daily living.
How is dementia diagnosed? - Diagnosis of dementia begins with a thorough physical exam and complete medical history, and followed by information-concentration-orientation test of Blessed et al. and the mini-mental state exam of Folstein et al.
What's the treatment for dementia? - The goal of treatment is to control the symptoms of dementia. Treatment of dementia begins with treatment of the underlying disease.
What's the long term dementia care? - Long-term dementia care may be needed for some patients with dementia. Possible options include in-home care, boarding homes, adult day care, and convalescent homes.
What's alcohol-related dementia? - Alcohol related dementia is a form of dementia related to the excessive drinking of alcohol. Alcohol abuse can lead to several forms of dementia.
What's frontal lobe dementia? - Frontal lobe dementia is a set of degenerative diseases producing many of the same symptoms as vascular dementia. The frontal lobe governs people's mood and behaviour.
What's senile dementia? - Senile dementia is the mental deterioration (loss of intellectual ability) that is associated with old age. Senile dementia is often used when referring to Alzheimer's disease.
What's early onset dementia? - Early onset dementia is a term that covers a range of diseases affecting memory and thinking in people under the age of 65.
What's AIDS related dementia? - HIV associated dementia (HAD) is comprised of a spectrum of conditions from the mild HIV-1 motor cognitive-motor disorder to severe and debilitating AIDS dementia.
What's Alzheimer's disease? - Alzheimer's disease is a form of degenerative brain disease resulting in progressive mental deterioration with disorientation, memory disturbance and confusion.
What types of Alzheimer's disease are there? - Types of Alzheimer's disease include early onset Alzheimer's, late-onset Alzheimer's, and familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD).
What're the stages of Alzheimer's disease? - Stages of Alzheimer's disease include no cognitive impairment, mild cognitive decline, moderate cognitive decline, moderately severe cognitive decline...
What causes Alzheimer's disease? - The ultimate cause or causes of Alzheimer's disease are still unknown, there are several risk factors that increase a person's likelihood of developing the disease.
What're the risk factors for Alzheimer's disease? - The risk for Alzheimer's disease increases with age. People with a family history of Alzheimer's have a greater risk.
What're the warning signs of Alzheimer's disease? - The warning signs of Alzheimer's disease include memory loss, difficulty performing familiar tasks, problems with language, poor or decreased judgment.
What're the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease? - The symptoms of Alzheimer's disease include memory lapses, perform routine tasks, loss of judgment, and personality or behavior changes.
How is Alzheimer's disease diagnosed? - Diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is complex. Diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease begins with a thorough physical exam and complete medical history.
What's the treatment for Alzheimer's disease? - Some treatments for Alzheimer's disease that can be used to help manage and ease the symptoms. Medications help alleviate the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and delusions.
What medications treat Alzheimer's disease? - Four medications, tacrine, donepezil, rivastigmine tartrate and galantamine, are used to improve intellectual function in some patients with Alzheimer's disease.
What's the dietary therapy for Alzheimer's disease? - Dietary therapy for Alzheimer's disease involves appropriate intake of darkly colored fruits and vegetables, soy, alcohol, folate and vitamin B12.
What's the exercise therapy for Alzheimer's disease? - Aerobic exercise is very important for helping to protect against mental decline during aging due to Alzheimer's disease.
What's the prognosis of Alzheimer's disease? - A person with Alzheimer's disease lives an average of eight years and as many as 20 years or more from the onset of symptoms.
What's vascular dementia? - Vascular dementia is a common form of dementia in older persons that is due to cerebrovascular disease, usually with stepwise deterioration.
What types of vascular dementia are there? - There are a number of different types of vascular dementia. Two of the most common are multi-infarct dementia, binswanger's disease.
What's multi-infarct dementia? - Multi-infarct dementia is the most common form of vascular dementia. Multi-infarct dementia is associated with atherosclerosis.
What is Binswanger's disease? - Binswanger's disease is a progressive neurological disorder characterized by injuries to the blood vessels supplying the deep white-matter of the brain.
What causes vascular dementia? - Vascular dementia can be caused in several different ways. Most commonly there is blockage of small blood vessels (arteries) deep within the brain.
What're risk factors for vascular dementia? - The risk factors for vascular dementia are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart rhythm problems.
What're the symptoms of vascular dementia? - Symptoms of vascular dementia include memory loss, difficulty doing usual daily activities, and a tendency to wander.
How is vascular dementia diagnosed? - Vascular dementia is diagnosed based on history, symptoms, signs, and tests, and by ruling out other causes of dementia.
What's the treatment for vascular dementia? - Treatment of vascular dementia is aimed at reducing the risk factors including stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease.
What's lewy body dementia? - Lewy body dementia is a progressive cause of dementia characterised by both cognitive problems and motor impairments.
What causes lewy body dementia? - Lewy body dementia is caused by abnormal microscopic deposits of protein in nerve cells. Lewy bodies appear in deteriorating nerve cells.
What're the symptoms of lewy body dementia? - Symptoms of lewy body dementia include a gradual loss of mental abilities, including orientation and memory, reasoning and intelligence.
How is lewy body dementia diagnosed? - Lewy body dementia is diagnosed by taking a careful history of the pattern of symptoms, and by excluding other possible causes.
What's the treatment for lewy body dementia? - There's no specific treatment for lewy body dementia. Treatment is directed at managing the signs and symptoms of the disease.
What is Pick's disease? - Pick disease is a brain disorder that causes slowly worsening decline of mental abilities. Pick's disease is a less common type of dementia.
What causes Pick's disease? - Pick's disease is a rare disorder similar to senile dementia/Alzheimer's type. Behavioral changes are prominent with loss of inhibition.
What're the symptoms of Pick's disease? - The signs and symptoms of Pick's disease include loss of intellectual abilities and changes in behavior and personality.
How is Pick's disease diagnosed? - Diagnosis of Pick's disease is based on initial diagnosis on history and symptoms, signs, and tests, and by ruling out other causes of dementia.
What's the treatment for Pick's disease? - There is no proven effective treatment for Pick's disease. Monitoring and assistance with self-care may be required.
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