The article was consulted professionally by Master, Dr. Ton That Tri Dung – Department of Medical Examination and Internal Medicine – Share99 Da Nang International Health Hub
Dementia is a condition where it is impossible to remember past events, often due to injury, pathology or the effects of stimulants. In addition, this symptom can also be caused by other causes such as aging, stress or lack of sleep.
1. What is dementia?
Dementia is a syndrome associated with a significant deterioration of mental abilities such as: attention, memory, language, logical reasoning and problem-solving skills. People with dementia often have difficulty learning new information and forming new memories.
2. Causes of Dementia
In general, dementia occurs more often as age increases. There are several different causes of dementia, of which Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia (accounting for up to 60-70% of cases). The remaining causes may be:
- Stroke: cerebral hemorrhage, cerebral infarction, srachnoid hemorrhage
- Encephalitis (caused by bacteria or viruses)
- Lack of cerebral oxygen: as in the case of heart stroke, respiratory failure or carbon monoxide poisoning
- Prolonged alcohol abuse leads to vitamin B1 deficiency (Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome)
- Tumors in the brain: associated with the region that governs memory
- Certain medications: such as benzodiazepin groups or groups of drugs with a sedative effect
- Traumatic brain injury
- More rarely is dissociative dementia associated with psychological factors, derived from mental traumas, psychological shocks such as being victims of violent crimes. In this disorder, the victim often loses personal memories and autobiographical memory but usually only for a short time.
3. Symptoms of Dementia
Includes 2 main characteristics of dementia:
- Anterograde amnesia is incapable of forming new memory.
- Retrograde amnesia is about dementia for events before a particular time point.
Most people with dementia have short-term memory problems – they can't recall new information. Recent memories may be lost, but those that are further away or from a young age are still preserved. Many people may recall memories of childhood or know the names of past presidents, but can't name the current president, or can't tell the menu they ate that day.
Memory loss does not affect a person's intelligence, personality or judgment, but mere memory loss and no other cosyile dysfunction.
4. Diagnosis of dementia
Dementia can be a sign of serious pathology, so the person needs to be evaluated comprehensively by a doctor:
Because people with dementia are unable to provide complete and detailed information, it is therefore necessary to exploit patient information from family, friends or caregivers.
Your doctor will use the information to understand dementia including:
- Type of dementia: short-term or long-term
- When and what process at the beginning of dementia occurs
- Risk factors: head injury, stroke or surgery…
- Family history: especially neurological diseases
- The abuse of alcohol, drugs or sedatives.
- Other symptoms such as language disorders, altered perceptions, self-care …
The doctor needs to fully examine all the muscles as well as nerves including: motor function, sensation, balance.. and take a cosylic test by examining short-term, long-term memory through general information, such as the name of the current president, or the date of the year, or the doctor asking the patient to repeat the vocabulary lists listed earlier.
Some additional tests may be in dinhary based on historical and general health information. Commonly prescribed tests include:
- Blood and urine tests;
- Chest X-ray;
- MRI or CT brain scan;
- Electroencephalitis (EEG);
- Analysis of spinal fluid by spinal cord puncture procedure.
Early diagnosis will help improve the quality of life for dementia sufferer as well as family members, thanks to therapeutic interventions to optimize physical and mental health.
5. Dementia Treatment
According to experts, the goal of treating dementia is to aim to control symptoms. In some cases, acetylcholinesterase inhibitors can help slow down the process of altering perception. However, most of the effects of the drug are limited and cannot prevent the basic condition. Other emotional and psychological treatments are also considered as part of the overall treatment plan.
For young people, if dementia persists despite treatment, it is advisable to write down what to do in notes or books to support memority in daily life and work.
In summary, dementia is a syndrome that causes impaired memory, thoughts, behavior and the ability to carry out the daily activities of a person. This is one of the main causes of older people's dependence on their children and grandchildren, causing both physical, psychological, and economic effects. Dementia not only directly affects the sick, but also the caregivers, families and society as a whole. Dementia should therefore be considered a priority in the field of public health, which needs to be studied to develop new and more effective treatments.
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Article reference source: Webmd.com
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