Fifteen Facts About Dementia

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Imagine a day when you wake up feeling completely lost. The fear that grips your mind when you suddenly realize you’re in an unknown place with people you’ve never seen before, who claim to be your relatives, is unimaginable.

Welcome to the life of a person with dementia!

Dementia includes a group of brain diseases that cause a long-term and gradual decline in memory and normal functioning of a person.

Here are 15 facts about this unnerving disease.

1. Dementia occurs as a result of damage to the brain cells.

The brain is made up of tiny cells called “neurons.” Damage to these brain cells results in dementia.

2. Dementia is not part of normal aging.

The normal process of aging has its own effect on the brain and memory. It is believed that during the aging process, the brain undergoes structural changes along with the death of brain cells. In dementia, however, the death of brain cells takes place at a rate faster than that of the normal process of aging.

3. Dementia does not only include memory loss.

Dementia, apart from memory, also causes mood swings and changes in the personality of an individual, often leading to depression.

4. People suffering from dementia don’t know that they have the disease.

People suffering from dementia, though aware of their gradual loss in memory, assume it to be a part of their normal aging process.  As it progresses, they know that something is wrong; but once it gets severe, they become oblivious to their conditions.

5. Dementia can also occur in children.

Infections and poisoning lead to dementia in children. Apart from this, other disorders in children also cause dementia, generally as a side effect.

6. There are four types of dementia: Alzheimer’s, Vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, and frontotemporal dementia.

Dementia generally involves a group of diseases that affect the brain. Each of these types of dementia has different symptoms and treatment options.

7. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s .

Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that is chronic and can’t be treated.  Almost 70% of cases of dementia happen to be Alzheimer’s.

8. Alzheimer’s kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.

It’s often impossible to stop or reverse the progression of Alzheimer’s.  In 2010, this disease caused almost 84,000 deaths in the United States as estimated by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

9. Heart diseases raise the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).

Heart diseases may damage the blood vessels in the brain leading to the decline in the functioning of the different regions of the brain.

10. People who don’t follow a healthy diet are at risk of being affected with dementia.

A healthy diet is an important factor in avoiding being affected with dementia. Scientific studies have proven that Vitamin D3 shows neuroprotective effects.

11. Progressive dementia is irreversible.

Dementia that affects the temporal and frontal lobes is generally progressive and irreversible. It results in permanent brain damage.

12. There is no test to determine if someone has dementia.

There is no specific diagnosis for dementia. Doctors can determine if a person has dementia only after carefully going through the medical history of the patient, observing them, and ruling out the presence of other diseases.

  1. Alzheimer’s disease is named after Alois Alzheimer, who was the first doctor to describe the disease.
  2. Auguste Deter was the first person to be diagnosed with AD in 1901.
  3. Stan Mikita, the Slovak-born Canadian professional ice hockey player for the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League, was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia.

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