A very common misconception about Dementia is that it is a disease. It isn’t, dementia is instead an umbrella term for illnesses that consist primarily of memory loss and other symptoms which affect one’s day-to-day life. Such symptoms are the result of abnormal brain changes. These changes can heavily affect one’s cognitive skills, feelings, relationships, and lifestyle.
Often it is referred to as or even interchangeably used with ‘Senility’ or ‘Senile Dementia’, which implies that Dementia is a normal part of ageing. That is incorrect, Dementia is not a normal part of ageing. In this article, we will cover what is Dementia, its symptoms, risk factors and Films Related to Dementia.
Table of Contents
What is Dementia?
The loss of cognitive abilities, such as thinking, remembering, and reasoning, to the point where it affects a person’s day-to-day functioning, is known as dementia. Some dementia patients struggle to control their emotions, and their personalities may shift. It can range in intensity from the earliest stages, when it is only beginning to impair a person’s functioning, to the most advanced stages, when the individual is wholly dependent on others to perform even the most basic tasks.
As people age, it becomes more prevalent (approximately one-third of all adults over the age of 85 may have some kind of Neurocognitive Disorder), yet it is not a normal part of ageing. Many people reach their 90s and beyond without displaying any dementia symptoms.
Alzheimer’s disease is one of several different types of dementia. Depending on the type, a person’s symptoms may differ.
Diagnostic Criteria for Dementia DSM-5: Neurocognitive Disorder
Dementia is categorised as a Neurocognitive Disorder (NCD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
The NCD category is then further subdivided into Minor NCD and Major NCD. The term “cognitive” refers to thinking and related processes, and the term “neurocognitive” has been applied to these disorders to emphasise that brain disease and disrupted brain function lead to symptoms of NCD.
The NCD category encompasses the group of disorders that the primary clinical deficit is in cognitive function, which is acquired rather than developmental. Impairment may occur in attention, planning, inhibition, learning, memory, language, visual perception, spatial skills, social skills or other cognitive functions.
In DSM-5, a minor neurocognitive disorder is also medically referred to as Prodromal Disease or Mild Cognitive Disorder (MCI) and is defined by the following criteria:
A. Evidence of significant cognitive decline from a previous level of performance in one or more cognitive domains*:
– Learning and memory
– Executive function
– Complex attention
– Social cognition
B. The cognitive deficits interfere with independence in everyday activities. At a minimum, assistance should be required with complex instrumental activities of daily living, such as paying bills or managing medications.
C. The cognitive deficits do not occur exclusively in the context of delirium.
D. The cognitive deficits are not better explained by another mental disorder (eg, major depressive disorder, schizophrenia).
Cause of Dementia
We have briefly discussed before that Dementia is caused by abnormal changes in the brain. Those can be damage or loss of nerve cells or connections in the brain. Depending on the area of the brain that’s damaged, Neurocognitive Disorder can affect people differently and cause different symptoms.
Symptoms Of Dementia
The symptoms and signs of Dementia can vary varying and difficult to exactly tell if someone is having Dementia. However, there are some common symptoms and signs which is enough to signal that it’s time to see a doctor.
There are broadly two kinds of changes that are caused due to the abnormal brain changes that take place-
- Psychological Changes-
- Changes in Personality
- Inappropriate behaviour
- Cognitive Changes-
- Memory Loss (usually noticed by others)
- Difficulty in communication (or in using proper vocabulary)
- Difficulty with visual and spatial abilities (such as driving, stocking fridge)
- Difficulty reasoning or problem-solving
- Difficulty handling complex tasks
- Difficulty with planning and organizing
- Difficulty with coordination and motor functions
- Confusion and disorientation
Types Of Dementia
There are three broad classifications of Dementia-
- Progressive and Non-Reversible Dementia
- Disorders Linked to Dementia
- Dementia-like Disorders Which Are Reversible
- Progressive and Non-Reversible Dementia
- Alzheimer’s Disease: This is the most common form of Dementia.
The cause of Alzheimer’s Disease is not particularly known, but experts have identified that a genetic mutation, which could be inherited, has been proved to be the cause of Alzheimer’s among a small percentage of patients. One important gene which increases the chance of getting Alzheimer’s Disease is Apolipoprotein E4 (APOE).
Alzheimer’s ailment sufferers have plaques and tangles in their brains. Plaques are clumps of a protein called beta-amyloid, and tangles are fibrous tangles made up of tau protein. It’s proven that these clumps harm neurons and the fibres connecting them.
- Vascular Dementia: This type of Dementia is caused by damage to the blood vessels which supply blood to one’s brain. Issues in blood vessels to the brain can cause strokes and other brain-related issues. A common mishap that can happen, is that it may damage, mildly or severely, the fibres of the white matter of the brain.
The most common symptoms of Vascular Dementia are having issues with problem-solving, calculating, and thinking logically. Slowed thinking, and losing focus. Memory loss may not be that prominent.
- Lewy Body Dementia: Lewy Bodies are odd balls-like clumps of protein that reach one’s brain. This is found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s Disease, Lewy Body Dementia, and Parkinson’s Disease.
Common signs and symptoms include acting out one’s dreams in sleep, hallucinations, and problems with focus and attention.
- Frontotemporal Dementia: Frontotemporal Dementia is a group of illnesses with the common denominator being the breakdown of nerve cells and their connections in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. These are the areas associated with personality, behaviour and language.
Some common symptoms of Frontotemporal Dementia are changes in and poor behaviour, personality, thinking, judgment, language and movement.
- Mixed Dementia: Some people have multiple causes for their Dementia Symptoms. the most common combination of Mixed Dementia is Alzheimer’s Disease and Vascular Dementia. As in Mixed Dementia, there is more than one cause for the symptoms of Dementia, it is the worst type of Progressive and Non-Reversible Dementia.
- Disorders Linked to Dementia
- Huntington’s Disease: Huntington’s Disease is caused by a genetic mutation. This disease causes certain nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to waste away.
Common signs and symptoms of Huntington’s Disease, include a severe decline in cognitive skills.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): This condition is most regularly brought about with the aid of repetitive head trauma.
Depending on the part of the brain that is injured, the symptoms of Dementia will show.
TBI may also be the reason for parkinsonism.
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease: Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease is an extremely rare disease, as of 2017, there are four cases reported across the United States of America.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease may occur spontaneously, be inherited or be transmitted by contact with infected tissue, such as during a transplant or from eating contaminated meat.
- Parkinson’s Disease: People with Parkinson’s Disease subsequently develop symptoms of Dementia too. Sending loads of power to people fighting Parkinson’s.
- Reversible dementia Causes
Fortunately, there are some causes of Dementia Symptoms which can be reversed with proper treatment. They are:
- Infections and Immune Disorders:
When one’s body strives to combat an infection, the trauma might open up a doorway for Dementia Symptoms to develop. Multiple sclerosis and different conditions triggered by the way the body’s immune system attacks nerve cells additionally can cause Dementia.
- Metabolic and Endocrine Abnormalities: People with the following Metabolic and Endocrine Abnormalities may display symptoms of Dementia-
- Thyroid Problems
- Low Blood Sugar
- too little or too sodium or calcium
- or trouble absorbing vitamin B-12
- Nutritional Deficiencies: Not drinking enough water (dehydration); not getting adequate thiamin (vitamin B-1), which is frequent in individuals with persistent alcoholism; and not getting adequate nutritional vitamins B-6 and B-12 in your weight loss plan can cause Dementia Symptoms. Copper deficiencies also can cause dementia symptoms.
- Medication Facet Effects: Side effects of medications, or a remedy or an interaction of several medications can cause Dementia Symptoms.
- Subdural Hematomas: After a traumatic fall, any internal bleeding near the brain can cause Dementia Symptoms to show up.
- Brain tumours: It is quite rare but brain tumours can also trigger Dementia Symptoms.
- Normal-Pressure Hydrocephalus. This condition, which is brought on by using enlarged ventricles in the brain, can result in walking problems, urinary issues and memory loss
Risk Factors Of Dementia That You Can Control
You may be able to save yourself or even your loved one from Dementia by doing the following:
Diet and Exercise: Studies suggest that lack of exercise will increase the danger of dementia. And while no particular diet is known to reduce dementia risk, lookup shows a higher incidence of dementia in humans who consume an unhealthy food plan in contrast with those who observe a Mediterranean-style eating regimen rich in produce, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
Excessive Alcohol Use: Drinking big quantities of alcohol has been known for causing changes leading to Dementia Symptoms. Severa’s research and reviews determined that alcohol use problems had been linked to an extended threat of dementia, particularly early-onset dementia.
Smoking: Quite like alcoholism, smoking too increases the chances of developing Dementia Causes.
Cardiovascular Threat Factors: These factors consist of high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol, the buildup of fat in your artery walls (atherosclerosis) and obesity.
Depression: Although no longer well-understood, late-life depression would possibly indicate the development of dementia.
Diabetes: Having diabetes may also increase your risk of dementia, especially if it’s poorly controlled.
Air Pollution: A study conducted on animals has suggested that air pollution can speed up the degeneration of the anxious system. And human research has found that air pollution exposure — in particular from site visitors’ exhaust and burning wood — is related to increased dementia risk.
Head Trauma: People who’ve suffered severe head injuries have an increased threat of Alzheimer’s disease and other Dementia Causes. Several extensive studies found that in human beings aged 50 years or older who had a worrying talent injury (TBI), the chance of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease increased. The danger will increase in humans with more severe and multiple TBIs. Some studies indicate that the threat may be best within the first six months to two years after the TBI.
Sleep disturbances: People who have sleep apnea and other sleep disturbances might be at greater risk of growing dementia.
Vitamin and Nutritional Deficiencies: Low amount of vitamin D, vitamin B-6, nutrition B-12 and folate can expand your danger of dementia.
Medications that can aggravate memory: Try to avoid over-the-counter sleep aids that incorporate diphenhydramine (Advil PM, Aleve PM) and medicines used to treat urinary urgency such as oxybutynin (Ditropan XL).
Also, restrict sedatives and slumbering drugs and talk to your physician about whether any of the pills you take would possibly make your memory worse.
Complications Of Dementia
Dementia can affect many body structures and, therefore, the potential to function. Dementia can lead to:
- Poor nutrition. Many humans with dementia finally limit or quit eating, affecting their nutrient intake. Ultimately, they can also be unable to chew and swallow.
- Pneumonia. Difficulty swallowing increases the risk of choking or aspirating food into the lungs, which can block breathing and cause pneumonia.
- Inability to perform self-care tasks. As dementia progresses, it can interfere with bathing, dressing, brushing hair or teeth, using the bathroom independently, and taking medications as directed.
- Personal security challenges. Some daily situations can exist safety problems for humans with dementia, together with driving, cooking, taking walks and living alone.
- Death. Late-stage dementia outcomes in coma and death, often from infection.
Keep Your Thinking Active: Mentally stimulating activities, such as reading, fixing puzzles and playing phrase games, and memory education would possibly lengthen the onset of dementia and reduce its effects.
Be Bodily and Socially Active: Physical recreation and social interaction would possibly extend the onset of dementia and minimize its symptoms. Aim for 150 minutes of exercising a week.
Quit Smoking: Some research has shown that smoking in middle age and past would possibly amplify your hazard of dementia and blood vessel conditions. Quitting smoking may limit your chance and will improve your health.
Get Sufficient Vitamins: Some research suggests that humans with low levels of vitamin D in their blood are greater likely to boost Alzheimer’s disorder and other varieties of dementia. You can get vitamin D through certain foods, supplements and sun exposure.
Manage Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Lose weight if you’re unhealthily overweight.
High blood pressure might lead to a higher threat of some types of dementia. More research is needed to decide whether or not treating high blood stress may minimize the risk of dementia.
Maintain a Healthy Diet: A balanced diet with ample micro-nutrients, proteins, fat and roughage will keep nutrient deficiencies out of your way, lowering the risks of developing any Dementia Causes.
Get Good-Quality Sleep: Don’t stress around and speak to your medical doctor if you snore loudly or have durations where you stop breathing or gasp all through sleep.
Films Related to Dementia
Cinema can always help you find motivation, direction and understanding. Here is a little list of films which will help you in some way if you have been diagnosed or are in touch with someone who has Dementia.
Still Alice (2014)
Dr Alice Howland (Julianne Moore) is a famed linguistics professor at Columbia University. When words start to get away from her and she begins turning lost on her daily jogs, Alice should come face-to-face with a devastating diagnosis: early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. As the once-vibrant girl struggles to hold on to her experience of self for as long as possible, Alice’s three grown adolescents should watch helplessly as their mother disappears little by little each day.
Away from her (2007)
Long married, Fiona (Julie Christie) and Grant (Gordon Pinsent) find their mutual devotion tested with the aid of her struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. When it becomes apparent that the circumstance is worsening, she assesses into a relaxation home. Grant visits her a month later and finds that his spouse has grown shut to Aubrey (Michael Murphy), a fellow resident. Jealous and hurt, Grant eventually seeks assistance from Aubrey’s spouse (Olympia Dukakis) when Fiona suffers a crisis.
The Savages (2007)
Philipp Seymour Hoffman stars in this family drama next to Laura Linney as siblings. They have to unite to help their father who after the demise of his girlfriend finds himself alone. The Savages, after the household name, have dynamics that are all too frequent and without problems recognizable. This is a stunning and real movie.
Aurora Borealis (2005)
In his mid-20s, Minneapolis native Duncan Shorter (Joshua Jackson) nonetheless lacks course in life, so when his grandfather (Donald Sutherland) falls ill, he takes a job as a handyman in his grandparents’ house so he can be near them. While there, he falls into a relationship with a free-spirited home-health nurse (Juliette Lewis) who can assist him move towards self-realization.
The Notebook (2004)
In Forties South Carolina, mill worker Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling) and rich female Allie (Rachel McAdams) are desperately in love. But her mother and father don’t approve. When Noah goes off to serve in World War II, it seems to mark the top of their love affair. In the interim, Allie will become worried about some other man (James Marsden). But when Noah returns to their small town years later, on the cusp of Allie’s marriage, it soon turns out that their romance is something but over.
A Song For Martin (2001)
In midlife, soul mates Barbara (Viveka Seldahl) and Martin (Sven Wollter) finally meet. At first, their mutual sexual appeal is disturbing and undeniable, however, their love for music further fuels their passion. Martin is a composer and conductor, and Barbara is the first violinist in a symphony orchestra that he guest-conducts. Although each is married, they refuse to surrender the happiness they ultimately have found, but their lives alternate when Martin is identified with Alzheimer’s disease.
Iris: A Memoir of Iris Murdoch (2001)
Iris Murdoch (1919-1999) was one of the most essential and prolific British novelists of her century and wrote and taught philosophy as well. She wrote 28 novels (between books, she said, she “took off for about 1/2 an hour”). Her novels concerned “the special strangeness of human beings,” performed towards philosophical ideas. There have been additional touchstones that her readers regarded forward to a lonely child, a magus, an architectural oddity, an old friendship sorely tested, adulteries and sudden couplings, intimations of the supernatural, theoretical conversations, and historic feuds. Her novel The Sea, The Sea gained the Booker Prize and is an accurate area to start.
Instead of honouring the work, “Iris” mourns the life. Her Alzheimer’s is especially tragic due to the fact it takes away the man or woman while the presence remains.
Age Old Friends (1989)
The resident of a nursing home, John Cooper (Hume Cronyn) is pissed off by his strictly ordered surroundings. Even though his body is in decline, John remains mentally keen, while his shut friend, Michael Aylott (Vincent Gardenia), has the opposite issues — he is in fairly appropriate health, but turning into steadily extra senile. As John and Michael strive to hold some stage of independence and contend with their ailments, they strive their satisfaction to aid each other.
You may also like- LET’S BE AWARE TO BE BEWARE: MONKEYPOX