What can be worse than losing your cognizance, while you have many years to run? Yet this is what happens in most cases to four in ten individuals over the age of 65. In Australia, more than one million people develop impaired memory loss every year, diagnose more than half of which will later with dementia (Nay & Garratt, 2009). Alzheimer’s disease causes about 80% of dementia, alongside cerebrovascular dementia (Productivity Commission, 2011). Denoting that someone has dementia is like saying someone has a fever, it does not explain as to why the person has it. Dementia is the tolerant decline in the mental function due to illness or impairment in the brain beyond what is expected from normal or standard aging. The most affected areas may be a problem solving, memory, language, and attention. Individual dealing with dementia are always disoriented after some time, not knowing what day of the week they are in, place, not knowing where there are, and even not knowing who they are (Nay & Garratt, 2009). Dementia is a general term that means several illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease among others. The existence of dementia in the global arena is rising as the world’s life expectancy is rising. Specifically, in the Western countries and the United States, there is rising concern about the economic impact that dementia will influence in the future, older population.
Types of Dementia
This is the most common type of dementia and it accounts to about three quarters of the cases. It is a advanced illness that affects the brain and causes slow increase in cognitive problems. In Alzheimer’s disease, the physical damage is in the brain. Neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques cause brain damage. The plaques form the abnormal clumps in the brain. Later the tangles form twisted threads of protein commonly known as tau. Most cases of Alzheimer’s disease are not caused by changes in genes. This type of sporadic Alzheimer disease occurs to people over the age of 60 (Moyle, Kellett, Ballantyne & Gracia, 2011). Another type of Alzheimer disease is Familial Alzheimer’s; it is inheritable. The symptoms often occur when the person is between 45 and 60 years. It is evident that all people with Down syndrome have high risks of contracting Alzheimer’s disease. Both Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are very vital for our society to understand since, as our population ages, overall citizens need to understand the complications of a disease that occurs in older adults. Another essential issue is the cost of care (Miller, 2009). With older adult population projected to increase in the world, the cost of caring for individuals with dementia must become increasingly important public health concern.
Vascular dementia is a term used for dementia that is linked with disease in the blood vessels related to the brain. This disease affects the circulation of blood to the brain and later causes brain damage (Hindle & Coates, 2011). This type of disease appears similar to Alzheimer’s disease. A mixture of the disease and Alzheimer’s disease can occur in the same people. It is the second most common type of dementia in the world among others.
Lewy Body Disease
This is an umbrella term that explains the conditions characterized by the formation of clumps in the brain known as the Lewy bodies. The made of protein (alpha-synuclein) accumulate in the brain cells forming clumps. The clumps occur in specific parts of the brain causes damage in behavior, movement and thinking. Individuals faced with this disease are always faced with laxity in thinking and attention skills. The individuals can go from normal body performance to severe. One of the most common symptoms of Lewy body disease is visual hallucination.
Fronto Temporal Dementia
This is the name given to a group of dementia that affects the one or both of the temporal and frontal lobes of the brain. It is also called the front temporal lobar degeneration dementia or Pick’s disease (Chang & Johnson, 2014).
Pathophysiology of Dementia Dementia is considered a syndrome because it affects the brain, usually of an advanced nature, in which there is a ruckus of several higher cortical roles such as orientation and memory. Consciousness is not apprehensive. Impairment of cognitive functions are often accompanied and occasionally heralded, by deterioration in emotional control, motivation and social behavior. All types of dementia are advanced. This means that the chemistry and structure of the brain become damaged over time (Chang & Johnson, 2014). An individual’s ability to remember and communicate declines. Each symptom of dementia consists of changes in behavior or personality. Dementia can be first seen during an episode of delirium. Dementia can affect motor skills, short-term memory, language, personality traits, reaction time, and executive functioning. Some of the examples of people with dementia would include, those beginning to get lost while driving to places where they once knew, asking questions repeatedly since they forget the answers quickly. Long time memories are reserved and dwelled upon (Hindle & Coates, 2011). Personality changes take place, and the person may manifest changes that are opposite from their previous personality. These individuals are always prone to poor judgment and low-impulse control.
Effect that dementia has on the older person’s lifestyle Depression is common in elderly and can be mistaken for dementia; therefore, ruling depression is a vital part of the diagnosis. Differentiating dementia from the normal cognitive decline of advanced age is also crucial. The medical or health history incorporates a complete listing of medicine taken since a number of drugs are often known to cause dementia-like symptoms. The prediction for dementia depends on the underlying diseases. On average, individuals with Alzheimer’s disease live more than ten years after their diagnosis, with a range from one to thirty years. Vascular dementia is usually advanced, with death from heart attack and stroke. Strategies or non-pharmacological treatments that can be implemented to deal with dementiaAs of now, there is no existing cure for dementia; nevertheless, there are drugs and other types of medication or treatment available. The only possible treatment of dementia starts with the treatment of underlying disease where possible. The principal causes of hormonal, tumor-caused, nutritional, and drug-related dementias may be rescindable to some degree. For example, treatment of stroke related dementia starts with reducing the risks of future strokes, via treatment of hypertension and aspirin therapy, for instance, Aspirin and Vitamin E have been proven for their capability to slow the rate of development. However, none of the above treatments has proven to be efficient and effective. In fact, in 2003 and 2007 research noted that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs) are not able to avert Alzheimer’s disease and dementia (Hindle & Coates, 2011). In the same years, various clinical trials have been stopped because of detrimental effects of combined progestogen and estrogen therapy or HRT (Hormone replacement therapy).
Note only did Hormone replacement therapy was found to increase the risk of stroke and breast cancer among women, but the risk of probable dementia was thrice that for women taking HRT. Studies also debate the impacts of vitamin E on slowing the rate of development of moderate-severe Alzheimer’s disease. Since dementia usually develops slowly, treating it in its early stages can be hard. However, prompt treatment and interventions have shown to assist slow the effects of dementia. Thus, early diagnosis is significant. Several visits may be needed. Diagnosis begins with thorough, complete medical history and physical exam regularly including comments from caregivers and family members (Productivity Commission, 2011). A family history of either cerebrovascular disease or Alzheimer disease may offer clues to the cause of dementia symptoms.
There are several psychological techniques and methods to assist people cope with or manage dementia. These include truth orientation, which involves constant reminding the patients of information such as the date, season, and the day they are. Since the memory of distant events and occasions is rarely impaired, recollection therapy which encourages individuals to talk about the past may also assist by bringing past involvements into consciousness. Art music therapy and aromatherapy are also thought to be important, though there is no evidence to support this research.
Appropriate community supports/resources and/or health promotion are identified. Health care organizations are also taking their own steps to help improve the lives of individuals dealing with dementia. These health care groups specialize in the cognitive issues that frame individuals with brain damage, as well as related impairment (Productivity Commission, 2011). They offer resources such as music therapy, psychological resources among others that help the people manage the disease. There are several organizations In Australia that help in the management of dementia such as Dementia Care Australia (DCA) and Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. Conclusion Dementia is related with impaired qualities and significant disability of life among older adults. Dementia encompasses variety of syndromes including some diverse forms of presentations posing vital implications for intervention. Public health determinations designed to foster awareness of the symptoms of cognitive impairments among older adults are need since early involvements may forestall further decline in mental functioning. Therefore, it is important to consider that dementia has not direct treatment, but treatment of subsidiary diseases slow the effects of dementia.
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