Dementia is the progressive deterioration and impairment of memory, reasoning, and other cognitive functions occurring as the result of a disease or condition. Dementia can affect the person’s ability to carry out daily activities. For example, the person may forget where they live or they might think they have already done their activities but never did. Dementia can also cause the elderly to become incontinent and can’t control their urinary system. Many people get confused that dementia is a disease.
Not only were there physical but also negative psychological consequences to being a caregiver. Dementia is a grouping of diseases which affects many not only including the person diagnosed with it. The deterioration of the brain causes impairment to basic functions for someone to survive. Little is known as to possible cures, but treatment is available to help decrease the strength of symptoms. If one day someone close to you was diagnosed with dementia, wouldn’t you want their life to be made easier with options on treatment?
Dementia worldwide is a common cause of death for the elderly. Dementia is a syndrome – usually of a chronic or progressive nature – in which there is deterioration in cognitive function beyond what might be expected from normal ageing. (WHO). Dementia can affect many things from memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, and calculation, learning capacity, language and even judgment. ““Dementia” is an umbrella term describing a variety of diseases and conditions that develop when nerve cells in the brain die or no longer function normally.
To discuss this subject we would discuss the most common form of dementia among old people, the Alzheimer's disease. Dementia is a brain disorder, a loss of intellectual function (thinking, remembering, reasoning), which substantially affects a person's ability to carry out daily activities. Alzheimer's disease (AD), a form of progressive, irreversible dementia with no known cause or cure, first described in 1906 by Dr. Alois Alzheimer, causes damage to the parts of the brain that control thought, memory and language. The consequences of the disease in terms of the patient's lifestyle are often times confused with the natural syndromes of aging. However, AD is not a normal part of aging.
Her symptoms were comprised of memory loss, language problems, and unpredictable behavior. After her death, Dr. Alzheimer examined her brain and found many abnormal clumps (amyloid plaques) and tangled bundles of fibers (neurofibrillary tangles). The aforementioned plaques and tangles in the brain are considered two of the primary features of Alzheimer’s disease. The third feature is the loss of connections between nerve cells or neurons in the brain. There is currently no cure for this traumatic disease, but current Alzheimer’s disease medications and management strategies may temporarily improve symptoms.
Dementia and Delirium are perplexing conditions both to differentiate and experience. Dementia is a progressive intellectual function and other cognitive skills decline condition which results to a decline in an individual’s performance of their daily activities. Unlike dementia, delirium also known as acute confusional state is an acute medical condition which results in confusion and other disruptions in a person’s thinking and behavior including attention, activity level and perception. It is very important to distinguish between the two conditions because, delirium can be found in a person that already has dementia. A study done by Fick and Mion (2008) indicated that, about 22% of adults with dementia develop delirium.
Alzheimers is a degenerative disease that usually begins gradually, causing a person to have memory lapses in both basic knowledge and simple tasks (7). Alzheimers disease causes the formation of abnormal structures in the brain called plaques and tangles (particularly causatory are NFTs- neurofibrillary tangles) (5). As they accumulate in affected individuals, nerve cell connections are reduced. Some initial symptoms are loss of job skills, difficulty with familiar tasks, language problems, unawareness of time and place, lack of good judgment, problems with abstract thinking, misplacing things, and dramatic changes in personality (1). The speed with which the disease progresses can vary, but ultimately, as it destroys brain cells, causes confusion, personality and behavior changes and impaired judgment so severe that the patient may not seem to be the same person.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease that has behaviors that go along with it. In this disease, the orderly system of the brain becomes damaged and no longer works properly. “The brains of Alzheimer 's disease victims appear shrunken, particularly in large parts of the neocortex, the outer layer of gray matter responsible for higher brain functions such as thought and memory” (“Alzheimer’s Disease,” 2015). It usually begins with minor memory loss of recent events. This memory loss is slowly joined with forgetfulness, cluelessness of hygiene, impaired judgement, and loss of concentration.
The disease may also produce changes in personality, behavior, and mood, such as depression, apathy, and withdrawal or baseless fears and aggressive behavior. Alzheimer disease is a condition that causes the nerve cells in the brain to degenerate and the brain matter to shrink. It affects parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language. It can only be diagnosed by a histopathologic examination, to check for the presence of tangles and plaques, which are primary causes of Alzheimer's. Neurofibrillary tangles are bundles of twisted fibers that accumulate in the cell bodies of neurons.
It puts a heavy onus on the families and carers of those moved by the day-to-day responsibility of worrying for a patient with dementia are likely to suffer from physical and psychological torment as one would expect from a highly stressful occupation. Today plenty of steps can be removed to prevent the onset of the three primary types of dementia: Alzheimer’s disease, Vascular Dementia and Lewy Body Dementia. Dementia describes a range of symptoms that encompasses more than 100 conditions affecting the brain. The World Health Organisation (WHO) labels dementia as a syndrome caused via disease of the brain, typically of a progressive nature, where there is disorder of several higher cortical functions (World Health Organisation, 2007). People with dementia show deficiencies in neurocognitive function such as reduced memory and defective performance of mundane activities such as cleaning the house (Gallo et al., 2008).