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Dementia is descriptive word used to denote a group of symptoms affecting thinking and social abilities in a severest sense to interfere with daily functioning. Alzheimer’s disease is identified as the leading cause of dementia.
Dementia interferes with at least two brain functions that may be evident by the following difficulties.
- Memory loss
- Impaired judgment
- Difficulty in communication
- Difficulty in planning and coordination
- Difficulty in planning, execution and coordination of daily activities
- Changes in language
- Inability to perform normal daily activities like driving
- Confusion, such as difficulty remembering names
- Changes in social and personality behavior, such as prolonged anger, paranoia, and hallucinations
Cognitive and neuro-psychological testing may determine the severity of the disease in suspects as well. Neurological and Psychiatric evaluations with specialists may also be helpful in the diagnosis.
Although select forms of Dementia may be cured, most cases may not be curable. Thus, treatment options are focused on the improvement of symptoms, the delay in the progression of the disease process and assistance aids with daily living skills (ADL’S) when needed.
The following may be treatment options available for dementia.
Medications – Cholinesterase inhibitors like rivastigmine and donepezil may be given to boost the levels of the chemical messengers in the brain. Memantine works by regulating the activity of glutamate, a chemical messenger that is important in learning and memory. Medications to address sleep disorders may also be given.
Therapies – Occupational therapy may be implored to help one adjust to enhanced daily normal activities. Environmental modifications like clutter reduction may reduce confusion with demented individuals. Maintaining a homelike environment among personal possessions may also be assistive. Response modification with the caregiver may also be part of the treatment plan to elicit appropriate responses for those suffering from dementia.
It is important to recognize that medications and medical procedures are associated with benefits and risks that should be discussed with your physician. It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition. Your Health Access disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.