Symptoms Causes and Possible Solutions of Dementia

Introduction (source, NHS)Dementia is a syndrome (a group of related symptoms) that is associated with an ongoing decline of the brain and its abilities. These include:People with dementia may also have problems controlling their emotions or behaving appropriately in social situations. Aspects of their personality may change. Most cases of dementia are caused by damage to the structure of the brain.Dementia is a common condition. In England alone, there are currently 570,000 people living with dementia.That number is expected to double over the next 30 years.It is estimated that dementia occurs in:Listed below are the different types of dementia.Alzheimer’s disease, where small clumps of protein, known as plaques, begin to develop around brain cells. This disrupts the normal workings of the brain.Vascular dementia, where problems with blood circulation result in parts of the brain not receiving enough blood and oxygen.Dementia with Lewy bodies, where abnormal structures, known as Lewy bodies, develop inside the brain.Frontotemporal dementia, where the frontal and temporal lobes (two parts of the brain) begin to shrink.Unlike other types of dementia, frontotemporal dementia usually develops in people who are under 65. It is much rarer than other types of dementia.This section focuses on vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia. See Useful links for more information about Alzheimer’s disease.In clinical terms, the outlook for dementia is not good. In most cases, there is no cure and symptoms will get worse over time.However, even if a person’s dementia cannot be cured, there are a number of effective treatments that can help them to cope better with their symptoms and improve their quality of life.SymtomsThe symptoms of vascular dementia can develop suddenly and quickly worsen. Or they can develop gradually over many months.Symptoms include:The symptoms of dementia with Lewy bodies usually develop gradually but get more severe over the course of many years.The symptoms of dementia with Lewy bodies include:Frontotemporal dementia is caused by damage to the parts of the brain that help control emotional responses and behaviour. Therefore, many of the initial symptoms of frontotemporal dementia involve changes in emotion, personality and behaviour.Someone with frontotemporal dementia may become less sensitive to other people’s emotions. This can make them seem cold and unfeeling.They may also lose some of their inhibitions. This could lead to strange behaviour, such as making sexually suggestive gestures in a public place, being rude to others or making tactless comments.Other symptoms of frontotemporal dementia include:Vascular dementia is caused when there is an interruption to the blood supply to the brain.How common is dementia?Like all organs, in order to work properly the brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients that is provided by the blood. If the supply of blood is restricted or stopped, brain cells begin to die, resulting in brain damage.