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Dementia Care – What is Dementia?

11th Jun 2014

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What is Dementia?

The word dementia describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. These changes are often small to start with, but for someone with dementia they have become severe enough to affect daily life.  A person with dementia may also experience changes in their mood or behaviour.

 

Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease or a series of strokes. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia but not all dementia is due to Alzheimer’s.  The specific symptoms that someone with dementia experiences will depend on the parts of the brain that are damaged and the disease that is causing the dementia.

 

Types of Dementia:

 

Alzheimer’s disease

This is the most common cause of dementia. During the course of the disease, the chemistry and structure of the brain changes, leading to the death of brain cells.

Vascular dementia

If the oxygen supply to the brain fails, brain cells may die. The symptoms of vascular dementia can occur either suddenly, following a stroke, or over time, through a series of small strokes.

Dementia with Lewy bodies

This form of dementia gets its name from tiny spherical structures that develop inside nerve cells. Their presence in the brain leads to the degeneration of brain tissue.

Fronto-temporal dementia

In fronto-temporal dementia, damage is usually focused in the front part of the brain. Personality and behaviour are initially more affected than memory.

Mild cognitive impairment

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a relatively recent term, used to describe people who have some problems with their memory but do not actually have dementia.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

Prions are infectious agents that attack the central nervous system and then invade the brain, causing dementia. The best-known prion disease is Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, or CJD.

Korsakoff’s syndrome

Korsakoff’s syndrome is a brain disorder that is usually associated with heavy drinking over a long period. Although it is not strictly speaking a dementia, people with the condition experience loss of short term memory.

Rarer causes of dementia

There are many other rarer causes of dementia, including progressive supranuclear palsy and Binswanger’s disease.  People with multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease can also be at an increased risk of developing dementia.

 

If you are interested in the services provided by Bridgewater Day Care then please contact us for a free consultation and centre tour on 01942 723 115 or email us at info@bridgewaterdaycare.co.uk where one of our team members will be in touch to arrange everything for you.

 

 

Information Courtesy of:

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