What is dementia?

Dementia is an acquired imbecility, provoked by brain damage, which has a gradually progressive course. The disease is accompanied by serious mental disorders: memory impairment, loss of acquired skills and knowledge, impaired thinking, as well as loss of the ability to navigate in space, which leads the patient to disability.

It belongs to one of the most common mental problems in the elderly – there are more than 35 million patients in the world. Most patients learn what dementia is only after the manifestation of persistent symptomatic signs, as well as a comprehensive examination in a specialized medical institution, using a wide range of methods.

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Dementia – symptoms and signs

The clinical picture of people with dementia directly depends on the location and size of the brain lesion. There may be several types, but independently of them, it has similar signs and symptoms.

The key signs of dementia are:

  • Violation of orientation in time and space. The patient can forget where he lives, even being in his own area, where he walked every day for several decades;
  • Complete passivity appears to assimilate new information, any interests disappear, including those that have brought pleasure for many years;
  • Absence or decrease in the criticality of one’s perception – a symptom manifests itself during the planning of the next period of life;
  • Loss of short-term and long-term memory. The patient cannot remember yesterday’s events or events of many years ago, and also cannot normally perceive the events that are taking place (new information).

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    Over time, the signs of dementia worsen, and new, more devastating symptoms may appear. The patient develops a classic symptomatology. If you find signs or the following symptoms, immediately seek help from a specialized clinic.

    The main symptoms of dementia include:

    • Loss of orientation in space and difficulty of recognition – a person may not recognize familiar places or close people;
    • There is a decrease in the level of intelligence and the ability to objectively think;
    • Problems appear when using almost all household appliances, especially complex ones: TV control panels, programming washing machines, microwave ovens, etc.;
    • The patient cannot dress, put on shoes, eat and take care of himself (in severe cases).

    At the beginning of development, as well as with a mild degree of dementia, the patient is critical of his own condition and surrounding events. He can take care of himself, eat and even cook. The prognosis of dementia depends a lot on the underlying disease – the worst is Alzheimer’s.

    Causes of dementia

    Modern medicine knows more than 200 factors and causes that can provoke the development of dementia in humans. The most common is Alzheimer’s disease (more than 60-70% of all reported cases).

    In more than 20% of cases, the cause is vascular pathologies caused by atherosclerosis, hypertension or other diseases of the cardiovascular system. At the young and middle age, the disease can develop due to alcoholism, drug use, as well as traumatic brain injury.

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    Stages of dementia development

    The disease is characterized by three main stages of development. Their duration directly depends on the root cause of development and the complexity of the course:
    • Mild dementia – is the onset of the disease, accompanied by a decrease in the intellectual abilities and social skills of the patient;
    • Moderate dementia – accompanied by a pronounced impairment of mental abilities, memory lapses, as well as the substitution of real events for fictional ones and vice versa;
    • Severe dementia is the final stage, characterized by the final and irreversible destruction of a person’s individuality.
    The severe stage can sometimes be confused with mild dementia due to the patient’s increased level of emotionality. Only a specialized specialist should deal with the diagnosis of the disease.

    Dementia in the elderly (older dementia)

    Senile dementia is a companion for many older people. At this age, irreversible changes occur in the organs and systems of the body, including the brain. When these changes occur too quickly and have pathological features, this indicates a manifestation of the disease.

    Dementia in the elderly contributes to the loss of previously acquired skills and abilities. In fact, an educated, intelligent person with “golden hands” is gradually turning into a weak child. This disease is one of the most difficult in neurology, requiring timely diagnosis, an individual approach and adequate treatment.

    The parient with dementia – treatment

    Professional treatment of dementia does not provide for a complete recovery of the patient; it is only possible to slow down the development of the disease, relieve symptomatic manifestations, and adapt the patient to the new realities of life.

    The specialized clinic for the treatment of patients with dementia “MEDLUX” provides a range of services aimed at timely diagnosis and effective treatment of the disease. Our doctors have a wealth of successful experience in the specialized field, and the clinic is equipped with all the necessary diagnostic equipment from leading manufacturers!

    Do close people have signs or symptoms of dementia? Contact “MEDLUX”, and you will definitely be helped!

    Author </br> Kruchkovskaia Irina
    Kruchkovskaia Irina

    Psychiatry, psychotherapy

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