Medical Subject Headings (MeSH): Dementia
Dementia is a broad term used to describe a decline in cognitive function that is severe enough to interfere with daily life. It’s characterized by symptoms such as memory loss, difficulty with language, disorientation, mood changes, and problems with problem-solving and planning. Dementia is not a specific disease, but rather a group of symptoms that can be caused by a variety of underlying conditions.
The most common causes of dementia include:
Alzheimer’s disease: A progressive brain disorder that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. It’s the most common cause of dementia, accounting for 60-80% of cases.
Vascular dementia: Dementia caused by reduced blood flow to the brain, often as a result of stroke or small vessel disease.
Lewy body dementia: A type of dementia characterized by abnormal protein deposits in the brain, which can cause symptoms such as memory loss, visual hallucinations, and Parkinson’s-like symptoms.
Frontotemporal dementia: A type of dementia that affects the front and side parts of the brain, causing changes in personality, behavior, and language.
Huntington’s disease: A rare inherited disorder that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain.
Dementia is a progressive and degenerative condition that gradually worsens over time, and it’s a major public health concern. It’s one of the leading causes of disability and dependency among older adults and it can also have a significant impact on caregivers and families.
Treatment for dementia can include medications to help manage symptoms, as well as non-pharmacological therapies such as cognitive and behavioral therapies, occupational therapy and support groups. While there is no cure for dementia, early diagnosis and treatment can help to slow the progression of the disease and improve the quality of life for people living with dementia and their families.