What is Dementia? Types, Causes, Symptoms, Stages, and Treatment

People with dementia often have difficulties with: memory, reasoning, communication, mood, socialization, thinking, and memory. Basically anyone can suffer from some or all of these symptoms. Often people do not fully understand their own behaviors or reasons for actions. They may start to exhibit these symptoms early in life or at a later time in life and can progress through to the point where they suffer extreme forgetfulness, emotional detachment, personality changes, and poor judgment.

Dementia is associated with many diseases including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Frontotemporal dementia, and Vascular dementia. Dementia is usually diagnosed using a questionnaire designed to measure the types of behaviors that are characteristic of dementia. In addition to the questionnaires there are several other tests that are used to determine the risk factors of dementia, such as: handedness, gender, educational level, and wealth. Dementia risk factors can be influenced by genes, but it is not yet known how this works or what the specific genetic influences are.

Dementia is typically not caused by the individual himself, but rather by changes to his brain cells that are passed down from the individual's parents. Some common genetic causes of dementia include chromosome damage, which is usually caused by viruses or inherited from the parents. This type of dementia is referred to as Parkinsons disease. Other causes can include mercury exposure (sometimes called thimerosal syndrome), folate deficiency, or even single gene genetic aberrations that cause proteins to be deleted from the brain's cellular memory.

Understanding and managing dementia conditions tends to be overwhelming for most patients. Have you been diagnosed with dementia? According to the World Health Organization, you are not alone since the WHO estimates around 55 million victims. Unfortunately, the number is expected to rise to 149 million by 2050. What is dementia, and how can it be treated? Below is a guide on everything you need to know about dementia.

What is Dementia?

According to Alzheimer’s Association, dementia is a broad term that defines and covers the loss of memory, problem-solving, language, among other thinking capabilities beneficial for daily living. It is a general term for cognitive function declination.

Contrary to opinion, dementia is not a normal or inevitable part of aging. It is essentially characterized by abnormal brain changes. Such changes are often so severe that they affect normal behavior, interaction, and independent living.

As an umbrella term for a decline in cognitive functioning, dementia is further classified into different types.