Defining dementia is not an easy task to do. There are so many different forms of diseases, syndromes or disorders that can fall under the heading of dementia. The literal definition of dementia is—according to Wikipedia—without mind. Normally when people think of dementia they think of the normal forgetfulness attached to aging; but it really is so much more. Some of the illnesses that can fall under the umbrella of dementia are: Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, semantic dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies.
Daily, more is being found out about dementia and the diseases, syndromes or disorders that cause it or contribute to it. While there is still much debate in the area of classification and diagnosis; the overwhelming agreement is that many, who have dementia, go without diagnosis. It is incorrect to believe that dementia is only a disease that happens to the old; it’s not. Dementia can be developed in people as early as in their forties, or in people that have had traumatic brain injuries and it may even be brought on through other diseases in a person’s body that contribute to its development.
Dementia is for all intents and purposes a serious degeneration of the mind, which affects a person’s cognitive ability. This disease or syndrome can affect many areas of the cognitive ability such as memory, attention, language and problem solving. It can also encompass more than the mild forgetfulness associated with age; but can take the form of someone forgetting where they are and even who they are. A person suffering from dementia may even forget who people around them are. Other side effects of this disease may be that a sufferer may have problems learning, reasoning, keeping or remember past events, and some may even lose the flow of their thought or forget how to do activities. This is only a small sampling of symptoms that can be associated with dementia; studies are constantly finding more links daily.
Sadly less than ten percent of percent of cases of dementia are cases that can be successfully reversed. The key, as in many health issues, seems to be in detection; early detection and enlightenment into prevention methods. Most cases of dementia have to be present for at least six months or more to be termed as dementia, which cause the disease to have time to advance further. The varying degrees of dementia and the link to things such as depression also hinder diagnosis. But the one thing that most studies agree upon is that living a preventative life that is full of healthy food, exercise, not smoking and regular preventative healthcare monitoring can help diminish the risk for some.
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