Most people associate dementia with older adults, however any dementia can affect any age of persons. While there is no cure for this disease, scientific research has revealed that there are a multitude of causes for the disease. Another common misconception is that dementia is specific to memory loss and while it is a specific disease itself, it is more accurate to note that dementia is a group of psychological and behavioral symptoms associated with a variety of diseases and conditions that affect the brain. While there are many different types of dementia, there are a few that affect the majority of individuals. We’l discuss the most common types of dementia in this article.
Majority of individuals who have dementia are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. This disease is progressive and is caused by amyloid plaques (proteins that clump together between nerves) and neurofibrillary tangles (another type of protein) in the brain. Early stages of Alzheimer’s disease include memory problems, followed by impairments in language and the ability to do daily tasks. In later stages, impairments in memory, communication, and physical ability become quite severe. While some doctors have found a way to slow down this process, there is no known cure.
This disease is related to blood vessel damage in the brain thus causing brain tissue to be damaged. Poor judgement and inability to make plass are the first signs of cerebrovascular disease. In addition to changes in cognitive function, people with vascular dementia can have difficulty with motor function, especially slow walking movement and poor balance.
Lewy’s Disease is a progressive deterioration of the brain due to proteins named Lewy bodies. The buildup of such proteins causes issues with motor coordination that is closely related to the issues seen in Parkinson’s disease. In early stages, forgetfulness, walking instability, and depression may be seen. In the middle stages, cognitive impairments seem to fluctuate but become more frequent at night. The final stage is characterized by rapid cognitive decline, delusions, and hallucinations.
Is There A Cure For Dementia?
While there is no actual cure for dementia, there are medications that people can take to help with and reduce the amount of symptoms. Medicinal remedies can change as a person’s condition worsens, but it is important to remember there are medicines to help. Non-medicinal treatments include therapies that can help individuals with movement, motor skills, daily tasks, speaking, and even eating. Essentially, these therapies remind or show the brain what the body is still capable of. Just like medicinal treatment, these therapies do not stop the progression of the disease, rather they can help an individual to live a more “normal” life.
While the three mentioned diseases are the most common forms of dementia, having a mixture of dementia related diseases is also possible. Whatever the diagnosis may be and whatever treatment is being used, Orchard at Brookhaven is ready and willing to help with making life as enjoyable as possible for diagnosed individuals. We strive to help our residents enjoy the last stages of their life. If you are considering a senior living community in Atlanta for your loved one with dementia, please contact us to get more information about our approach.