What is Dementia?
Dementia refers to a gradual decline in a person’s mental functions. This may involve memory loss, personality changes, language problems, and other cognitive concerns. It is not a disease in itself but more of a reflection of another underlying disease.
Dementia is usually associated with aging as it is common among those who are aged 60 and above. But not all elderly people will have symptoms of dementia. Though elderly people may also have some sort of decline in cognitive tasks such as memory and learning, it doesn’t mean that they already have dementia. The decline in a person’s mental abilities is much more profound and obvious in those with dementia than those who are simply in the above 60 age bracket.
Various conditions or illnesses can cause dementia. Alzheimer’s disease and meningitis are diseases affecting the brain and may cause the decline in a person’s mental capacities. Brain tumors can also cause dementia due to the resulting increase in pressure to the brain area by the abnormal tissue growth. Head injuries and those that suffer from stroke may also develop symptoms related to dementia.
Symptoms may vary for the different types of dementia, but there are also common indications for each type. One is loss of memory, wherein one would fail to remember details such as names or events in life. Many dementia sufferers also are confused easily with basically no time or day orientation. Some will have sudden changes in mood or behavior, while others will lose their natural sense of purpose in life.
There is no known cure for most types of dementia. Symptoms of the disorder are managed depending on what can be possibly done to extend great care to these patients. For those with Alzheimer’s, they may be prescribed with certain medications. Those who suffered head injuries may require surgery. While for others, regular mental or behavioral therapy may help.