Dementia is a group of symptoms caused by Alzheimer’s disease. It occurs when the brain is unable to function normally, and it can cause memory loss, confusion, and problems with language, judgment, behavior and personality. Dementia Falls Church affects more than 5 million Americans. As people age, they experience changes in their thinking abilities.
- Find it hard to concentrate or think clearly
- Having difficulty making decisions or solving problems
- Having difficulty remembering things they should know
- Becoming confused about time, place or person
- Losing interest in activities that once excited them
Types of dementia that can be treated
Alzheimer’s disease: This is a prevalent form of dementia, affecting around 5.4 million people in the United States, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but treatment may improve symptoms.
Dementia with Lewy bodies: This type of dementia causes memory loss, disorientation and hallucinations. It is caused by a buildup of abnormal proteins in the brain and is more common in older adults with additional health problems such as Parkinson’s disease or stroke.
Dementia with Parkinsonism: This form of dementia involves tremors and other movement problems. It can progress rapidly if left untreated.
Frontotemporal lobar degeneration: This type of dementia results from damage to nerve cells in the brain’s frontal lobe. Doctors have not established the causes of this type of dementia. But it often occurs early in life before age 60 and progresses slowly for many years before becoming more rapid over time. Some people live into their 80s or even 90s with this illness, although some younger patients have died from it within a few years after diagnosis.
What is the best treatment option for dementia?
The first step in treating dementia is to determine the cause. A thorough medical history and physical exam can reveal many other potential causes of dementia. If none, a doctor may consider a biopsy of the brain tissue to determine whether there is a tumor or another disease process that could be causing dementia.
Several drugs have been certified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to these FDA-approved medications, researchers are studying whether some herbs can help improve memory and thinking skills in people with dementia.
Other ways of managing dementia
There are many different ways to manage dementia, including:
Stimulating the brain: This can be done by using drugs such as Ritalin or surgery to rebuild the part of the brain affected by the disease.
Managing pain: Pain can be controlled using medications such as opioids, which may add to confusion and agitation in people with dementia.
Treating depression: Depression is common in people with dementia and can also increase agitation and confusion. Depression can be treated with antidepressants or psychotherapy.
Improving sleep habits: Sleep disorders are common in people with dementia and can contribute to agitation and delirium. People who have trouble sleeping may benefit from medication, relaxation techniques or other treatments that improve restorative sleep patterns.
Dementia is a serious and progressive brain disorder that affects memory, thinking and behavior. The condition can affect anyone regardless of age, but is common among the elderly. If you have any symptoms related to this condition, contact Integrated Neurology Services.