On this occasion, we will talk “briefly” about dementia and we talk with our Geriatrician, Dr. Turrubiates, who leaves us with this information that we know is very valuable for you, I hope it will be helpful.
Dementia is defined as the development of difficulty with reasoning, judgment, and memory. Memory loss is usually present in most patients with dementia and one of the following may be added.
- Difficulty speaking or writing coherently (including understanding spoken or written language)
- Difficulty recognizing family members
- Difficulty carrying out difficult tasks or tasks that involve many steps for their elaboration.
To be considered dementia, these difficulties must have a negative impact on the patient’s independence and daily life.
Causes of dementia
The causes of dementia are varied, but by far Alzheimer’s is the disease that most causes dementia, then we will talk about some of the most common causes of dementia.
It is the disease that most causes dementia and we still do not know exactly how I know why or how the disease is acquired. However, we do know that there are certain changes in the brain such as protein deposits, loss of neurons in important parts of the brain, and disorganized protein fibers within the brain.
This is due to decreased blood flow to some parts of the brain due to clots in the arteries or lines in the brain, as well as blockages by fatty plaques. The risk increases when the patient has chronic high blood pressure or diabetes. This can occur along with Alzheimer’s.
Lewy body dementia
This dementia is also caused by protein deposits in the brain (called Lewy bodies) and causes Parkinson-like symptoms, with tremors and difficulty moving, as well as causing hallucinations that are very real and vivid to the patient.
In the more advanced stages of Parkinson’s, dementia can occur and is very similar to Lewy body dementia.
Like Alzheimer’s, this dementia is characterized by protein deposits, but not the same proteins. It is characterized by appearing in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain and depending on where it attacks, the main symptoms will be, for example, if it attacks the frontal lobes, a change in the patient’s behavior will be observed with inappropriate social behavior and if it attacks the temporal lobes, generates difficulty speaking and understanding spoken and written language.
This is when two causes of dementia are found in a patient, the most common being the combination of vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s.
In this category, we can include the causes that damage the brain chronically, such as constant trauma (as in some boxers or football players) or the abuse of harmful substances such as alcohol.
Risk factors .
There is no rule to help us identify a patient at risk of dementia since each disease has its own risk factors, but we can list some generalities.
The greatest risk factor is age, the greatest risk is found after 80 years, 1 in 6 people between 80 and 85 years is affected by dementia.
Some causes of dementia have a very strong genetic component, such as Alzheimer’s, so having a first-degree relative with dementia can increase the chances of suffering from it.
Some studies indicate that the risk of dementia may be increased by the following conditions:
They have also found that some things can help prevent or delay the onset of dementia such as physical activity, interacting with more people, and having a focused mind, this is because these activities stimulate cognition and make it more resilient.
As we can see, the causes are varied, so it is very difficult to know which is the most appropriate study, even though not all causes of dementia can be diagnosed with a brain scan (such as tomography or an MRI), for which reason it should be evaluated each patient individually to reach a diagnosis.
The same problem occurs, depending on the disease that causes it, the treatment will be, some with simpler treatments such as vascular dementia where normal blood pressure must be maintained and blood flow to the brain restored, and others with more difficult treatments such as dementias caused by protein deposits.
Dementia is a disease that must be treated from many angles, so you must have the most appropriate specialist for you or your family member. At Doctor At Home PV we have a Geriatrician in Puerto Vallarta who can treat you or your family member in the best way, make your appointment with us.
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