Dementia is a progressive condition that gets worse with time. Simply put, it is a brain disorder leads to a continual loss of brain function.
There are many types of dementia, but Alzheimer’s disease is the most common of all. It affects 62% of all dementia diagnoses.
Despite all the progress in medical science, dementia is still shrouded in mystery. Many people don’t understand that dementia is not a disease in itself. Instead it a condition, caused by other, different disease; Dementia is just an umbrella term for the brain damage caused by those diseases. The mental disorder signals memory loss, confusion, behavioral issues and trouble with communication. This happens because brain cells get damaged in the course of these diseases, and lose the ability to communicate with each other properly.
Here are some more little-known facts about dementia:
1. Dementia is not always related to aging
Most people associate the condition with memory loss that occurs in advanced age. And while it is true that typically people over 65 tend to have dementia, it’s not accurate to say that all people with advanced age will experience this mental disorder.
Furthermore, the condition also affects people in more than one way. So, it can be a lot more than just memory loss. Everyone has a completely different experience. They may not have memory loss, but they can show signs of disorientation and confusion, even hallucinations and peculiar food cravings can signal the onset of dementia. So, when experiencing such symptoms, it is a good idea to visit the doctor and address your concerns to a professional. You can also get a brain test for dementia to rule out the possibility of having dementia for yourself or a loved one.
2. Patients can continue to live a fulfilling life
Yes, with a little bit of care and due diligence, it is possible to live a healthy and active life, despite the onset of dementia. Thanks to the advancements in the field of medical science, there are now strategies available to build a constructive life around this brain condition.
In the early stages of dementia, it is essential for the patients to lead a comfortable life at home. Thus, it’s a good idea to encourage the patient to continue to live at home and make them enjoy life as they did before the diagnosis. Being a closed one or a caretaker, it’s your responsibility to make them keep up with an active, regular life for as long as possible.
However, a person in the later stages of the condition may need round-the-clock care and supervision. That’s why a caretaker learn needs to learn more about support and services available for dementia, in his or her area. As the condition worsens, daily activities such as shopping and even walking around the home become quite challenging.
3. Dementia won’t discriminate
It’s said that the condition is more prevalent in Caucasians. However, reality couldn’t be farther from the truth. Dementia is a condition that anyone call fall prey to, despite their race, background, lifestyle or financial status. However, dementia seems to have a more significant impact on women.
Since women tend to live longer than men, they are inadvertently more prone to developing dementia also. In fact, stats show that the condition is now the leading cause of death in British women. That’s why it is a good idea for middle-aged women to get a dementia test to diagnose the early onset of the problem.
Not to mention, dementia is also a global problem. It has its roots across the world and isn’t only prevalent in the western world as commonly believed. China, India, Pakistan and sub-Saharan Africa are expected to see the most significant increase in dementia patients in the next two decades. The condition affects 46.8 million people across the world.
4. There is no treatment for dementia
Presently, there isn’t a cure for dementia. However, a doctor can guide you through treatments that can help alleviate the symptoms of this disorder. Unfortunately, though, there is no way to completely stop the onset of this condition. It only continues to get worse over time.
The trouble is that research into the cure and management of dementia is severely underfunded. Stats show that there aren’t enough researchers and scientists working to find the treatment for dementia. Five times fewer researchers work on dementia than cancer. Thus, it is vital that the healthcare industry and researchers start spending time and resources to improve care and find a cure for this condition. Our future may depend on it.
5. You can take measures to prevent the onset of dementia
It is possible to improve brain health and reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. For starters, treat your brain like a muscle and keep your mind active. This means indulging in puzzles, memory games and reading books from different niches. Also, incorporate healthy changes in your diet and lifestyle, exercise more and stop smoking if you haven’t already. Make sure your diet is rich in vegetables, whole grains, fruits and contains healthy servings of omega-3 fatty acids.
You can also reduce the risk of developing dementia by increasing your Vit D intake. Mayo Clinic researchers suggest that low levels of vitamin D in the blood increase the likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.
6. Dementia can be split into two broad types
As mentioned earlier, there are many types of dementia. But these can all be classified under two bigger umbrellas.
Cortical dementias occur because of the complications in the cerebral cortex, which is the outer layer of the brain. This area plays an integral part in the development of language and memory retention.
Then there are subcortical dementias. These occur because of problems in the area underneath the cortex. These kinds of dementia lead to slower thinking and an inability to start activities.
There is a major lack of effort in finding new treatments and preventative measures for dementia. The research industry needs volunteers. In addition to volunteering, you can also urge your local government and decision makers to prioritize research regarding dementia. You can also help the cause of finding a cure for dementia by raising awareness about the condition.
ABOUT Alycia Gordan – Author:
Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia