December 6, 2022

Signs and Symptoms of Dementia

Signs and Symptoms of Dementia

In this day and age, spreading awareness and educating oneself is a fundamental component in trying to prevent undesirable events and avoid the unwanted experience it can result in. 

Additionally, in dealing with Dementia, there are certain levels and types that need a whole new approach that may not be the same as its other variants. These are witnessed by many medical professionals, caregivers, and nurses working in hospitals like Dementia Care Homes Gloucester.

This article is a brief overview of what it is all about.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is the result of where the brain stops working due to the loss of healthy neurons, ineffective connections, or damaged synapses and nerve cells. It negatively affects memory, thinking, and social abilities. 

Once one has Dementia, the individual will experience a loss in cognitive function responsible for everyday activities. 

Dementia can cause abnormal brain changes that trigger the decline of a once-known high-functioning individual. Even the simplest and most normal tasks being done will be negatively affected, such as:

  • Reasoning
  • Thinking
  • Feeling
  • Talking
  • Remembering
  • Eating
  • Breathing
  • Speaking
  • Problem-solving

Causes

Generally, the damage done to the brain cells has different effects as it has distinct regions that control the various functions in the body. For Dementia, in particular, thinking and memory problems are adversely affected. Here are the most common causes or factors that can cause Dementia:

  • Depression
  • Family History
  • Blunt force trauma in one’s head
  • Use of Drugs
  • Alcohol Overdose
  • Hormonal Imbalances (Protein/Thyroid)
  • Side-effects from high-dosage drugs
  • Insufficient Vitamin and Mineral intake

If these conditions get worse in time, there is a heightened risk for an individual to have Dementia.

Complications From Dementia

When one has Dementia, the body systems are affected heavily as well since this is a brain disorder that alters how it functions.

Here are some complications that Dementia can lead to:

Poor Nutrition

Since Individuals do not remember how to eat, chew and swallow anymore, this will affect their intake of vitamins, food, and other nutrition needed for the body to properly function.

Pneumonia

Swallowing food eaten can risk choking and putting food into the lungs, blocking breathing and can lead to pneumonia. Not knowing that they are producing sweat and leaving it to dry in their bodies, chest, or back can also put water into the lungs.

Personal Safety 

Tasks needed to do or accomplish can be complicated now for those with Dementia. Simply walking, cooking, using everyday appliances, and living alone, in general, is a danger to their safety which can cause adverse safety issues.

Self-Care Routine

Inability to perform their self-care tasks is also a risk. They cannot normally do things such as taking a bath, drinking water, exercising, going to the toilet, brushing their teeth, and much more that can worsen as time goes by.

Death

In worse cases, Dementia results in coma and death due to infection or accidents that have happened to them as they struggle to go through their day-to-day activities.

Symptoms and Variants

Different signs and symptoms accompany several types of Dementia. Overall, these are the most common symptoms and early signs of Dementia in an individual:

  • Memory Loss
  • Hallucination
  • Losing interest easily
  • Losing balance and problems with movement
  • Difficulty in speaking, expressing one’s thoughts, writing, and reading
  • Unfamiliarity date and time
  • Getting lost in a familiar neighborhood

It is best to remember that Dementia covers various medical conditions and is a general term used for a wider range of brain damage in individuals. Here are the most common variants:

Alzheimer’s disease

Most common diagnosis. This is due to abnormal buildups of proteins which change the brain’s normal function.

Frontotemporal Dementia

A rare form. This is associated with abnormalities in TDP-43 and tau proteins in the brain. People younger than 60 are at risk of having this.

Lewy Body Dementia

Abnormalities in the brain due to the amount of Lewy bodies or deposits of the alpha-synuclein protein.

Vascular Dementia

An interruption of the blood due to ruined vessels reaching the brain, making it oxygen deprived and unable to function well. 

Mixed Dementia

A combination of two or more types.

Support For Someone With Dementia

Individuals going through the pain and hardships of Dementia need the right support and care the most, whether it is someone part of the family, a friend, or a neighbor.

These are simple ways of supporting someone with this complication if ever it is needed:

  • Be patient and caring
  • Guide them when moving, eating, or taking meds
  • Make sure they are taken care of by professionals
  • Choose a community that can provide what they need
  • Don’t be afraid to spend time with them, so they feel loved

Prevention and Cure

Even though more research is needed to find a cure for Dementia, some professionals have suggestions on lowering the chances of an individual having this complication and benefit their well-being. 

Here are some efficient steps that can help in preventing Dementia for individuals:

Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle

The most basic step is diet, working out, and getting enough vitamins. Increasing the intake of certain vitamins an individual, such as Vitamin D, B Complex, and C, can help delay the effects of Dementia.

Be Socially Active

Social Interaction can reduce dementia symptoms. A healthy schedule of catching up with family and friends can keep an active mind.

Keep An Active Mind

Play stimulating activities that keep the mind going. Puzzles, word games, and even reading can train the mind to work effectively, delaying the causes of Dementia.

Conclusion

The decrease of neurons and connection of synapses in the brain is associated with old age, family history or genetics, diseases, and side effects from an unhealthy lifestyle and medication. All individuals are at risk of experiencing the hardships of Dementia. 

Spreading awareness on how to handle Dementia patients should be better noticed as numerous people around the world encounter this disease with their loved ones or themselves.

Delaying and lowering the risk of Dementia can be achieved but not prevented or cured as further study and research are needed. Early detection and taking steps for prevention are vital to avoiding this brain disease.

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