What is Dementia?
This is a syndrome that involves a significant decrease in cognitive abilities (such as attention, memory, language, logical reasoning, and problem solving) that are severe enough to disrupt social or occupational functioning.
What does not include Dementia?
Dementia is not a temporary confusion or forgetfulness that may arise from limited infections, underlying illness, or side effects from drugs. The disease usually worsens as time passes.
How to Diagnose Dementia?
Doctors use certain criteria to diagnose the disease. Criteria for diagnosing include attention disorder, orientation, memory, judgment, language, motor and spatial skills, and functions. (By definition, dementia is not due to severe depression or schizophrenia.)
How Common is Dementia?
Dementia is reported as 1% of adults aged 60 years. It is estimated that the frequency increases twice every five years after the age of 60 years.
What Causes Dementia?
There are several causes. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. Other causes include Lewy Body Dementia, vascular dementia, dementia associated with Parkinson's disease, frontotemporal lobar dementia (FTLD), and dementia caused by other medical conditions. Other medical conditions such as thyroid disease, drug poisoning, thiamine deficiency with alcoholism, and others; brain injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, brain infections (such as meningitis and syphilis), HIV infection, build-up fluid in the brain (hydrocephalus), Pick disease, and brain tumors.
How to Evaluate Dementia?
The first evaluation by the doctor by looking at the patient's history and performing a physical examination. Further testing is selected according to the instructions of the patient's history and physical examination. The test may include blood and urine tests, chest x-ray, brain scanning (MRI or CT scan), electroencephalogram (EEG), and spinal fluid analysis with lumbar puncture procedures.
How to Treat Dementia?
Treatment is directed at managing symptoms, and identifying whether or not the possibility of a reversible cause is possible. Drugs such as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (eg, galantamine, donepezil) can sometimes help to slow the progression of cognitive changes, but but quite often the effects of the drug are few and ultimately can not prevent the worsening of the underlying condition. Agitation and other emotional worries are generally addressed as part of the overall treatment plan.

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