Dementia definition

This article explains the dementia definition, and what are the different causes and symptoms of dementia.

What is Dementia?

The term ‘dementia’ is used to describe a wide range of symptoms, including memory loss, difficulties with thinking, difficulties with concentration for problem-solving or with language.

Someone who suffers from dementia might also find himself experiencing sudden changes in mood, emotions and behavior.

The symptoms of dementia vary and depend on the parts of the brain that are damaged and the exact disease that causes the dementia.

There are many types of dementia, the different dementia types are explained further in this article.

Causes of dementia

Dementia can be caused by different types of brain changes that might be taking place. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia for elderly people and adults.

Other causes for dementia are brain strokes, vascular dementia, frontotemporal disorders and Lewy body dementia.

Symptoms of dementia

Different people are affected in different ways by dementia, especially in the early stages of dementia. The main symptoms of dementia has to do with thinking, concentration, focusing and memory.

The most common symptoms of dementia are:

  • Difficulty recalling events that happened very recently (where the person was yesterday, etc.)
  • Difficulties making decisions, solving basic problems or carrying out a sequence of simple tasks, such as cooking a meal.
  • Difficulties with language – for example, struggling to find the right words.
  • Orientation problems – Difficulties assessing distance and eye-body coordination
  • Confusion – suddenly forgetting where the person is, which day it is, or the context of a conversation or situation the person is in.

Extreme dementia types

In the more extreme dementia types, a person with dementia might also experience very intense emotional swings – he/she might become very anxious, irritable, apathetic or upset for no apparent reason. Some people might even experience visual hallucinations and delusions.

Dementia is a progressive disease, meaning that the symptoms in most cases get worse over time. The speed of the worsening differs from person to person. As dementia develops, the person might feel different to his family and friends, and start to behave in strange and unusual ways. Common behaviors include asking the same question again and again, feeling very anxious, restless or agitated.

In the later stages of dementia, a person might have physical symptoms like lack of sleep, weakness in the muscles and weight loss.

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