Dementia, also commonly known as ‘dementia’, is a progressive deterioration in one or more areas of cognitive functioning such as learning and memory, language, executive function, complex attention, social interaction.

Loss of function develops slowly. On the other hand, it affects a person’s personal and social life,

progressive deterioration that will affect his/her professional life and cause regression compared to his/her previous life.

What causes dementia?

The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Vascular Dementia and Dementia with Lewy Bodies, which cause loss of function due to bleeding or hypoxia caused by vascular problems, are other common causes.

Normal pressure hydrocephalus; metabolic disorders such as liver failure, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, kidney failure; nutritional disorders such as vitamin (b1; b12 etc.) deficiencies;

chronic drug intake, intoxication due to alcohol, industrial – environmental toxins; infections; brain tumors and many other causes also lead to dementia.

Advanced age is the leading risk factor for dementia. The frequency of dementia increases with age.

Gender, genetic factors, depression, head trauma / loss of consciousness, low education level, vascular risk factors, hypertension,

Other risk factors for dementia include diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis, stroke, high cholesterol, smoking and alcoholism.

In Alzheimer’s Disease, the most common cause of dementia, there is an abnormal protein accumulation in the brain, which leads to the loss of nerve cells and the connections between nerve cells.

Over time, the number of nerve cells and the number of connections decrease. As a result, progressive cognitive dysfunction develops and symptoms appear and the disease progresses due to this decline.

What are the symptoms of dementia?

In Alzheimer’s Disease

    Memory loss (Amnesia )

    Difficulties in planning or solving problems

    Difficulty doing familiar tasks at home, at work or in leisure time

    Disorientation in time and place

    Difficulty comprehending visual pictures and spatial relationships

    New problems with words in speaking and writing

    Misplacing things and having trouble finding them again

    Decreased or weakened judgment

    Withdrawal from work and social life

Mood and personality changes

several of its symptoms are seen together.

Depending on the stage of the disease and the cause of dementia, the number and severity of these symptoms may vary.

How is dementia diagnosed?

Diagnosis is based on patient history, examination findings, laboratory tests, imaging methods and neuropsychological tests.

diagnostic criteria (DSM-IIIR definition, NINCDS-ADRDA and DSM-IV diagnostic criteria)

What is the treatment for dementia?

Depression, vascular dementia, drugs, toxins, alcohol, intracranial space-occupying formations, anoxia, head trauma, normal pressure hydrocephalus, infections, nutritional disorders-vitamin deficiencies, metabolic disorders are treatable causes of dementia.

There is no definitive treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease, the most common cause of dementia. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (Donepezil) and

NMDA receptor antagonists (Memantine) are used alone or in combination. These treatments aim to improve the quality of life of patients by providing symptomatic improvement and slowing the progression of symptoms in the course of the disease.

Frequently asked questions

1- What are the types of dementia?

    Alzheimer’s Disease (most common)

    Vascular Dementias

    Dementia with Lewy Bodies

    Dementia due to various causes 

2 – Does dementia progress fast?

The onset of dementia is slow. And dementia progresses slowly over years

3 – What are the tests for dementia?

Complete blood count, serum electrolytes, glucose, bun/creatinine, serum vitamin B12 level, liver function tests, thyroid function tests are tests routinely used in the diagnosis and differential diagnosis of dementia. MRI, FMRI, PET are used as imaging methods

4 – Does exercise prevent dementia?

Regular exercise is protective against the development of dementia. Establishing and maintaining adequate social contacts and mental activities also prevent or slow down the development of dementia.

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