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Dementia

Description

Dementia is caused by disturbances in mental processes affecting a person’s memory, reasoning, planning, learning, attention, language, perception and behavior.

Causes

It is mainly caused by other diseases and conditions including stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, vitamin deficiencies, thyroid issues, reactions to medications and brain tumors.

Risk factors

Following risk factors are associated with the development of dementia:

  • Advancing age
  • Family history (if a close relation has it, you are at a risk of developing it)
  • Head trauma
  • Strokes
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Depression in old age 
Symptoms

Common behavioral disturbances in patients with dementia include:

  • Agitation
  • Problems with vision or perception
  • Difficulty with familiar tasks at home
  • Memory difficulties
  • Confusion with places and time
  • Social withdrawal
  • Difficulty planning or solving problems
  • Misplacing things
  • Problems with judgment
  • Difficulty recalling words or following a conversation
Diagnosis

The diagnosis of dementia is made by obtaining a thorough medical and psychiatric history and a medical, neurologic and mental status examination. Following tests are then advised by the doctor to confirm the diagnosis:

  • Cerebrospinal fluid analysis: Cerebrospinal fluid is a clear liquid that fills the cavities in the brain and spinal cord. Biomarkers such as tau protein and beta-amyloid are studied in this analysis.
  • PET scan: To detect glucose uptake.
  • MRI scan: To check for the decrease in brain size.
Management
  • LIFESTYLE MODIFICATION: Lifestyle changes that may help delay or prevent dementia in some people include:
  1. Avoid smoking
  2. Avoid excessive alcohol intake
  3. Physical exercise
  4. Mental and social activities
  • MEDICATION: Following medications may be prescribed:
  1. Donepezil, Rivastigmine, Galantamine which may improve mental processes and memory in Alzheimer’s patients.
  2. Carbidopa-Levodopa which may help dementia in patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
  3. Antidepressants like Selective serotonin reuptake may help treat the behavioral disturbances of dementia.
  • Helpful tip: Put arm bracelets with name and telephone number and shoes with GPS on your loved ones suffering from dementia to help locate them in case they get lost.
When to consult a doctor?
  • Consult a medical professional, if you experience severe memory loss in yourself or a loved one.
  • A doctor should be consulted if the medication prescribed is not helping in managing the symptoms.

Available Medicine for Dementia

Tanakan 40mg

Rs.206.5

Atco

Cogin

Rs.237.5

Avant