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Dementia- All You Need To Know

“Dementia is a term that refers to a significant loss of mental capacity. This can include, but is not limited to, memory loss. Memory loss is common when people get older, but when it begins to interfere with everyday life, it may be a sign of dementia.”- Says Dr. Gurneet Sawhney who is one of the best neurosurgeon in India. He also added that dementia is caused by diseases that affect the tissues of the brain. This damage makes it difficult for the brain to function properly, resulting in issues such as memory loss and uncertainty.   

What Causes Dementia & How Can It Be Prevented?   

The two most common causes of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease and vascular disease. Head injuries, alcoholism, Parkinson’s disease, and other diseases are all potential causes, but they are less common. If you know someone who is experiencing dementia, it’s important to remember that the changes in thought are caused by brain damage, and that person may need to be evaluated medically to decide whether the dementia is temporary or permanent. According to the specialists, infection-related dementia and medication side effects can sometimes be reversed, but dementia caused by progressive diseases cannot.   

Who Can Get Affected By Dementia?   

Dementia is not a very common issue in India. However, according to the study it affects about 10% of people over the age of 65 in the world. In India, it is mostly seen in those over the age of 85. Dementia grows over a period of time. Patients with some chronic illnesses, as well as people who have had several strokes, may be more likely to develop dementia.   

What Happens If A Person Develops Dementia?   

Your loved one can become distressed as a result of dementia. Emotional distress and behavioral changes are normal. Some people experience mild anxiety, which causes them to behave in unusual ways. Since it is common for people in this state to become stubborn or anxious, those with more extreme agitation will need caregivers or supervisors who can reassure them. Agitation is a chronic illness that worsens over time. You might run into the following issues with your behavior:   

  • Attention-getting requests   
  • pacing, looking for, or rummaging   
  • Threatening Hitting Biting Yelling   
  • obstinate refusals to take part   
  • Irritability and irritation   

Medical & Physical Problems 

If agitation has never been a sign of dementia before, or if the person is more agitated than normal, the issue may be due to a medical or physical disorder. A sudden illness can cause delirium, which is an agitated and confused state brought about by the illness. This problem can be caused by a variety of medical conditions, including:   

  • Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs.   
  • Dehydration is a common ailment.   
  • Nutritional deficiencies   
  • Infections of the bladder   
  • Flare-ups with chronic illness (e.g., diabetes or asthma)   

You should also think about any new drugs or dosage changes you’ve made recently.   

What Clinical Symptoms Should I Be Conscious Of?   

Psychosis, frustration, violence, depression, and anxiety are all common psychiatric syndromes that your loved one can experience. Psychosis can cause people to lose contact with reality and become irrational. They may have delusions and hallucinations, as well as imagine images that they believe are true.   

Dementia patients may also become irritable or aggressive. Disinhibition is a term used to describe how dementia affects the brain’s ability to control rage. Patients may strike out because they feel neglected, mistreated, or in danger as a result of this. Another reason of rage is frustration at not being able to complete basic tasks that were once simple. A individual with dementia’s rage and hostility can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including verbal attacks, accusations, refusals to comply, and, in some cases, physical assaults. Self-harm is also a possibility. If you witness this form of activity, make sure the surrounding area is protected to prevent injury.   

Patients are likely to become depressed if they no longer find pleasure in things they previously enjoyed. This loss of pleasure is a symptom, not a direct consequence of dementia-related decline. Depression therapy may support patients and can reduce the risk of delusions. Anxiety and depression can coexist, but this is a sign that dementia is in its early stages.   

What Will I Do If I Have Dementia?   

Professionals handle dementia and the agitation that comes with it in a number of ways, including establishing the right atmosphere, prescribing drugs, and offering family support. When people are physically uncomfortable, for example, they can become irritated. Doctors would most likely consult with the patient’s family about maintaining a schedule and offering assistance.   

Medications may also aid in the reduction of agitation. In an emergency, sedation can be used to keep a patient unconscious for a few hours. Longterm medications are available that do not cause these side effects, but it can take weeks for medicine to start working. Antipsychotics may help with delirium and psychosis, and benzodiazepines or trazodone are also prescribed for insomnia. When over-the-counter medications fail to alleviate depression, they can prescribe antidepressants. Long-term anxiety management can be aided by buspirone. A doctor can prescribe divalproex as a long-term treatment for reducing anger and aggression. In certain circumstances, an antipsychotic can be used. Before administering drugs, the doctor must verify that the patient may not have any other health problems or medications that could interfere with these medications.