The CDC calls dementia an umbrella term for a group of disorders that significantly affect an individual’s cognitive functions. It is usually defined by characteristics such as memory impairment, difficulty recognizing objects, loss of ability to plan or organize, and much more. Understanding what dementia is and its types helps individuals become aware of the warning signs associated with the condition, which can further aid in finding appropriate help early on. On that note, let us delve deeper into what dementia is and its related disorders.
What is dementia?
Dementia is a general term for any disease that causes a change in the cognitive functions of the brain, resulting in a significant impact on an individual’s daily functioning. Various types of disorders are associated with dementia, including Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and so on.
Warning signs of dementia
Now that you know what dementia is, let’s understand the warning signs of the condition. These common and early signs of dementia can help you pinpoint the onset of the condition and find the right help at the right time for yourself or a loved one.
1. Amnesia that affects the regular functioning of an individual: Everyone forgets things from time to time. However, a person with dementia forgets things more often than others and may have to remember recently acquired information.
2. You are having difficulty Perform normal tasks: A person with dementia may have difficulty with tasks they have been accustomed to throughout their life, preparing their meal, etc.
3. Having language problems: Forgetting words or replacing words that don’t fit into a conversation can be a warning sign of dementia.
4. Difficulty keeping up with time or surroundings: A person with dementia may have problems knowing the time or day of the week. They may also find it difficult to move through familiar places.
5. Mood and behavioral changes: Severe mood swings for no apparent reason may be a warning sign of dementia.
types of dementia
Common types of dementia include:
1. Alzheimer’s disease (AD)
This is one of the most common types of dementia. Symptoms of the disease include gradual deterioration of one’s memory and confusion. There is no specific cause for the condition. Alzheimer’s patients have amyloid plaques (an abnormal brain protein) in their brains. However, it is unclear whether plaque is a cause or a consequence of Alzheimer’s disease.
2. Huntington’s disease
Huntington’s disease is a rare genetic neurodegenerative disease that causes the breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. Shows a significant impact on a person’s cognitive and functional abilities. Characteristic symptoms of the condition include movement disorders such as involuntary jerking, unusual and slow eye movements, etc. However, in some cases, memory problems precede these symptoms.
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3. Lewy body dementia
Lewy body dementia results from the buildup of abnormal clumps of certain proteins, called Lewy bodies, within nerve cells. Signs of cognitive decline, including forgetfulness, are the initial symptoms of the condition. Other than that, hallucinations also develop as a prominent symptom in other individuals.
Dementia is a condition that can affect anyone and any point in life. This is why condition awareness is of utmost importance. Alzheimer’s Day and Brain Awareness is an initiative celebrated each year to raise awareness about conditions related to dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. To find out more about today, click here.
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