Millions of people are affected by degenerative diseases like Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease etc. and yet there is a severe lack of knowledge about these conditions.
According to a study “Current data from developing countries suggest that age-adjusted dementia prevalence estimates in 65 year old are high (≥5%) in certain Asian and Latin American countries, but consistently low (1–3%) in India and sub-Saharan Africa” Although Dementia and Alzheimer’s are often confused or used interchangeably, there are vast differences between the two.
Dementia is an umbrella term for a syndrome which is used to define a set of symptoms that include impaired thinking and memory, caused by diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease.
The earliest and the most visible symptom of dementia is usually forgetfulness. As it progresses, the patient exhibits repetitive questioning, poor decision-making abilities and inadequate hygiene. In advanced changes it brings about behavioural changes, depression, struggling with keeping time and sometimes even aggression. Certain kinds of dementia also cause visual hallucinations, lack of balance or disturbances in sleep.
Dementia is caused when some brain cells are damaged which can be a result of various factors such as degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s etc., several kinds of infections including HIV, stroke etc. Even regular use of drugs or poor mental health can deteriorate and result in dementia over the years
Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common cause of dementia. Affecting millions of people around the world, this is a progressive condition which causes the brain cells to rapidly degenerate and die.
This is a severely debilitating condition which exhibits certain common symptoms as dementia like memory impairment, decline in the ability to think and troubles with communication. But the unique symptoms associated with this disease are overwhelming confusion, disorientation, poor judgment, apathy, depression etc. Even though certain symptoms are in common, in this case they affect the patient way too severely. In advanced stages patients experience a difficulty in performing even the basic tasks such as swallowing, speaking, walking etc.
Alzheimer’s disease is not yet much understood but it is believed that it’s caused by a combination of causes ranging from genetic, lifestyle or even environmental factors affecting the brain over time. The brain of an Alzheimer’s patient exhibits certain ‘plaques’ and ‘tangles’ leading to a failure of healthy functioning and subsequent shrinkage of brain.
There is no known cure to these conditions as of now, but proper care of your brain might help in preventing or slowing down the degeneration. Even though some rare kinds of dementia are reversible, Alzheimer’s doesn’t show any such promise as of now. Proper diet, exercise and supplements or medicines like Nootropil might be able to help you slow down the rapid process of degenerative aging. Various kinds of therapy, mind enhancing games and puzzles, socialisation etc. go a long way in the management of symptoms. Patients of these conditions need loving and supportive home with understanding caregivers.
Advanced patients might need 24X7 care, supervision and even empathetic restraining in severe cases.