1it seems as if there is a slight deterioration in his physical condition

     

Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning — thinking, remembering, and reasoning — khổng lồ such an extent that it interferes with a person"s daily life & activities. Some people with dementia cannot control their emotions, và their personalities may change. Dementia ranges in severity from the mildest stage, when it is just beginning to affect a person"s functioning, khổng lồ the most severe stage, when the person must depend completely on others for basic activities of living.

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Dementia is more common as people grow older (about one-third of all people age 85 or older may have some size of dementia) but it is not a normal part of aging. Many people live into their 90s và beyond without any signs of dementia.

There are several different forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. A person’s symptoms can vary depending on the type.

What are the signs and symptoms of dementia?

Signs và symptoms of dementia result when once-healthy neurons, or nerve cells, in the brain stop working, thua thảm connections with other brain cells, & die. While everyone loses some neurons as they age, people with dementia experience far greater loss.

The symptoms of dementia can vary & may include:

Experiencing memory loss, poor judgment, và confusionDifficulty speaking, understanding and expressing thoughts, or reading and writingWandering và getting lost in a familiar neighborhoodTrouble handling money responsibly và paying billsRepeating questionsUsing unusual words to refer lớn familiar objectsTaking longer lớn complete normal daily tasksLosing interest in normal daily activities or eventsHallucinating or experiencing delusions or paranoiaActing impulsivelyNot caring about other people’s feelingsLosing balance và problems with movement

People with intellectual & developmental disabilities can also develop dementia as they age, & recognizing their symptoms can be particularly difficult. It’s important to lớn consider a person’s current abilities và to monitor for changes over time that could signal dementia.

What causes dementia?

The causes of Alzheimer’s and related dementias can vary, depending on the types of brain changes that may be taking place. While research has found that some changes in the brain are linked lớn certain forms of dementia, in most cases, the underlying causes are unknown. Rare genetic mutations may cause dementia in a relatively small number of people.

Although there is no proven prevention, in general, leading a healthy lifestyle may help reduce risk factors that have been associated with these diseases.

What are the different types of dementia?

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Various disorders và factors contribute to lớn the development of dementia. Neurodegenerative disorders result in a progressive & irreversible loss of neurons and brain functioning. Currently, there are no cures for these diseases.

The five most common forms of dementia are:

Mixed dementia, a combination of two or more types of dementia.What is mixed dementia?

It is common for people with dementia khổng lồ have more than one size of dementia. For example, many people with dementia have both Alzheimer"s disease và vascular dementia.

Researchers who have conducted autopsy studies have looked at the brains of people who had dementia, và have suggested that most people age 80 and older probably have mixed dementia caused by a combination of brain changes related to Alzheimer"s disease, vascular disease-related processes, or another condition that involves the loss of nerve cell function or structure and nerve cell death (called neurodegeneration).

Scientists are investigating how the underlying disease processes in mixed dementia start và influence each other. Further knowledge gains in this area will help researchers better understand these conditions & develop more personalized prevention & treatment strategies.

Other conditions that cause dementia-like symptoms can be halted or even reversed with treatment. For example, normal pressure hydrocephalus, an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, often resolves with treatment.

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In addition, medical conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression, và delirium can cause serious memory problems that resemble dementia, as can side effects of certain medicines.

Researchers have also identified many other conditions that can cause dementia or dementia-like symptoms. These conditions include:

Argyrophilic grain disease, a common, late-onset degenerative disease

The overlap in symptoms of various dementias can make it difficult lớn get an accurate diagnosis. But a proper diagnosis is important to get the best treatment.

How is dementia diagnosed?

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To diagnose dementia, doctors first assess whether a person has an underlying, potentially treatable, condition that may relate khổng lồ cognitive difficulties. A physical exam to measure blood pressure & other vital signs, as well as laboratory tests of blood & other fluids to kiểm tra levels of various chemicals, hormones, và vitamins, can help uncover or rule out possible causes of symptoms.

A đánh giá of a person’s medical & family history can provide important clues about risk for dementia. Typical questions might include asking about whether dementia runs in the family, how & when symptoms began, changes in behavior & personality, & if the person is taking certain medications that might cause or worsen symptoms.

The following procedures also may be used to lớn diagnose dementia:

Brain scans. These tests can identify strokes, tumors, và other problems that can cause dementia. Scans also identify changes in the brain"s structure & function. The most common scans are:Computed tomography (CT), which uses X-rays khổng lồ produce images of the brain và other organsMagnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which uses magnetic fields & radio waves khổng lồ produce detailed images of body toàn thân structures, including tissues, organs, bones, và nervesPositron emission tomography (PET), which uses radiation khổng lồ provide pictures of brain activityPsychiatric evaluation. This evaluation will help determine if depression or another mental health condition is causing or contributing to a person"s symptoms.Blood tests. It is now possible for doctors khổng lồ order a blood demo to measure levels of beta-amyloid, a protein that accumulates abnormally in people with Alzheimer’s. Several other blood tests are in development. However, the availability of these diagnostic tests for Alzheimer’s and related dementias is still limited.

Early detection of symptoms is important, as some causes can be treated. However, in many cases, the cause of dementia is unknown và cannot be treated. Still, obtaining an early diagnosis can help with managing the condition & planning ahead.

Sometimes, a person with dementia will agree lớn donate their brain. Brain donation helps researchers study brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease & related dementias, which affect millions of people. By studying the brains of people who have died, researchers learn more about how types of dementia affect the brain and how we might better treat and prevent them. When donating as part of a research study or lớn the trangantravel.vn NeuroBioBank, there is no cost to lớn the family for the donation và an autopsy report.

Who can diagnose dementia?

Visiting a primary care doctor is often the first step for people who are experiencing changes in thinking, movement, or behavior. However, neurologists — doctors who specialize in disorders of the brain & nervous system — are often consulted to lớn diagnose dementia. Geriatric psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, & geriatricians may also be able khổng lồ diagnose dementia. Your doctor can help you find a specialist.

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If a specialist cannot be found in your community, contact the nearest medical school neurology department for a referral. A medical school hospital also may have a dementia clinic that provides expert evaluation. You can also visit the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers directory khổng lồ see if there is an trangantravel.vn-funded center near you. These centers can help with obtaining a diagnosis and medical management of conditions.