Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The ABC's of Dementia....

One of the things we worry about as we age is dementia. There are many different types and causes of dementia. Knowing the types and causes will help with the prevention of or slowing of symptoms of dementia. I want to educate and increase everyone's knowledge of dementia. Over the next few months I plan on breaking it down further for you in hopes that this will help you with your loved one.


Dementia  can be classified in a variety of ways and are often grouped by what they have in common, whether they worsen over time (progressive dementia) or are caused by a reaction to medications or an infection, which can reversible with treatment.


Here are a some of the risk factors that you need to be aware of, lets start off with the ones that CANNOT be changed. They are age, family history and Down Syndrome. Rick factors that CAN be changed are Alcohol consumption, Atherosclerosis, blood pressure, cholesterol, Diabetes. depression, estrogen levels being out of range, smoking, Homocysteine blood levels to name a few things. It goes without saying you must look at things that you can change to prevent problems you don't want. Not to say that you won't get it any ways but why help it. 


Some of the signs and symptoms that your love one might be having trouble. 


1) Memory loss that disrupts your daily living.


2) Having problems with solving problems or planning 


3) Difficulty with completing task that is normally done daily and that you are familiar with. 


4) Confusion with time and place. 


5) Problems with writing or speaking words. 


6) Misplacing of items and or not recalling what you did with the items. 


7) Poor or decreased judgement


8) With drawl from social activities or work


9) Changes in personality or mood, increase anger etc. 


10) Visual problems  


If you think your loved one is having problems please seek the advice of a MD or neurologist. Doctors  have been know to miss the early signs of dementia so don't be to hard on yourself if you don't notice them. Get help as soon as you can to help prevent the progression of dementia in your loved one. When you do take your loved one to the doctors be prepared to give an extensive medical history and have knowledge of the medication that they are currently taking.  The doctor may order cognitive test, neurological evaluations, scans both CAT or MRI, laboratory tests, Psychiatric evaluation to come up with the diagnosis for your loved one.  Don't give up until you are satisfied with the diagnosis and treatment of your loved one. Remember one day you might be in their shoes! 

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