Dementia

21:54 - 4 May , 2021

Disease

What is Dementia?

It is a series of mental alterations that appear as a result of neuron and their nerve connections’ damage or death, significantly influencing memory, thoughts, and decisions, which causes socialization and behavior problems that alter the patient’s daily life. Depending on the area of the brain affected, the symptoms may vary, but several conditions increase the chances of developing dementia, such as:

  • Family history.
  • It usually affects people over 65 years old.
  • Brain trauma.
  • Heart conditions.
  • Smoking.
  • Alcoholism.
  • Down syndrome.
  • Depression.
  • Diabetes.
  • Malnutrition.

The most common types of dementia are:

  • Reversible causes: it can be due to side effects of some drugs, cerebral hypertension, vitamin deficiencies, or thyroid imbalances.
  • With Lewy bodies: memory problems, movement disorders, stiffness, tremors, difficulty falling asleep, and visual hallucinations.
  • Alzheimer: very common in older adults.
  • Frontotemporal: it manifests with personality and behavior changes, as well as difficulties speaking and expressing oneself.
  • Vascular: related to stroke and certain blood circulation problems.
  • Mixed: two types of dementia occur simultaneously.

Symptoms

The symptoms vary according to the type of dementia suffered, but the most common signs include:

  • Personality changes.
  • Confusion.
  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Disorientation.
  • Swallowing problems.
  • Paranoia.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Lack of focus.
  • Problems concentrating.
  • Inability to perform activities.
  • Memory loss.
  • Problems reasoning, communicating and expressing oneself.

Potential risks:
Dementia can cause:

  • Lack of appetite, affecting the number of nutrients that the body requires for proper functioning.
  • Chronic depression.
  • Difficulty swallowing food, increasing the probability that pieces of food reach the lungs, causing pneumonia.
  • Interference with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, brushing teeth, taking medications, etc.
  • Lack of confidence and safety to walk, cook, drive, or live in isolation.
  • Death.

Diagnosis and treatment

After reviewing your symptoms and medical history, the specialist will perform a physical examination, tests to assess attention span, memory, and abilities, as well as psychiatric tests to know dementia’s origin and degree of progression.

Likewise, they will request laboratory tests, blood tests, computed tomography, and MRI, to assess the brain status. Treatment to be followed will depend on the type of dementia and its degree of progress. Keeping your mind active, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, and controlling cardiovascular risk factors can help reduce your risk of developing dementia.

At the Neurological Center, a select group of highly trained and certified doctors in the various neurological specialties are ready to assist you with the quality and warmth that characterizes us. 

Nervous system specialties 

  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Spine surgery
  • Pediatric neurosurgery
  • Neurophysiology
  • Neuro-rehabilitation
  • Neuro-pathology
  • Interventional neuro-radiology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Neuro-oncology
  • Neuro-otology
  • Epilepsy
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Neuroimaging

Fuentes:

  • who.int
  • asha.org
  • mayocilinic.org
  • medlineplus.gov
  • msdmanuals.com
  • medigraphic.com
  • Llibre GJJ, García AL, Díaz MJP. Demencias y enfermedad de Alzheimer un recorrido por la historia. Geroinfo. 2014;9(1):.
  • Otero CM, Tamarit CN, Torres EM, et al. Guía de prácticas para enfermería en la atención a los cuidadores de pacientes con demencia. Rev Cubana Med Gen Integr. 2020;36(2):1-15.
  • Guevara VOI, Venzor CJP, Martínez JA. Demencia rápidamente progresiva, sobre el reporte de un caso de Creutzfeldt-Jakob. Rev Fac Med UNAM . 2020;63(6):31-37.
  • Contreras ASM, Navarro Juan-José, Sánchez RJR. Promotores de reserva cognitiva en adultos mayores con alto riesgo de demencia cortical. Rev Cuba Enf. 2020;36(2):1-18.

						
The dissemination of the content of this material is for informational purposes only and does not replace, under any circumstance or condition, a consultation with a specialist doctor, for which the ABC Medical Center is not responsible for the different use that may be given to it. If you require more information related to the subject, we suggest you contact the specialist doctor you trust directly.