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What is Dementia?
Dementia is a syndrome, not a disease. Therefore, dementia is a group of symptoms that affects mental cognitive tasks such as memory and reasoning. Dementia is an umbrella term that Alzheimer’s disease can fall under. It can occur due to a variety of conditions, the most common of which is Alzheimer’s disease. According to the World Health Organization says that 47.5 million people around the world are living with dementia.
Symptoms of dementia
1. It often begins with simple episodes of forgetfulness. People with dementia have trouble keeping track of time and tend to lose their way in familiar settings.
2. With time, forgetfulness and confusion grow. People have trouble recalling names and faces. Personal care becomes a problem. Obvious signs of dementia include repetitive questioning, inadequate hygiene, and poor decision-making.
3. In the most advanced stage, people with dementia become unable to care for themselves. There might also be aggressive changes in behavior which can turn into depression and aggression.
Causes of dementia
1. Chronic drug use
2. Stroke or any other cardiovascular disease
3. Infections such as HIV
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What is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease of the brain that slowly causes impairment in memory and cognitive function. The exact cause is unknown and no cure is available. Although younger people can and do get Alzheimer’s, the symptoms generally begin after age 60.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
1. Patients are unable to think clearly and face difficulty in remembering recent events or conversations.
2. Patients often experience difficulty in speaking, swallowing, or walking in advanced stages of the disease.
3. Behavioural changes such as apathy, depression and frustration starts surfacing.
Possible treatments of Alzheimer’s disease
1. There’s no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease but patients are prescribed antipsychotics to control behaviour changes.
2. Medications for memory loss, which include cholinesterase inhibitors are suggested.
3. Medications for changing sleep patterns are also prescribed.