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Dementia is a collective term used to describe progressive deterioration of mental capabilities such as memory, thinking, orientation, language or decision making.  Although dementia most commonly affects older adults, it is not a normal part of the ageing process. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia.

This disease has a physical, mental, social & economic impact on the patient as well as his or her caregivers.

What are the common signs & symptoms of dementia?

  • Loss of memory
  • Difficulty remembering words
  • Inability to reason or solve basic problems
  • Difficulty with coordination & motor functions
  • Confusion & disorientation
  • Difficulty with visual & spatial abilities
  • Personality changes
  • Lack of emotional control
  • Hallucinations
  • Depression & anxiety
  • Paranoia

What are the risk factors?

  • Age of 65 or above
  • Family History
  • Unhealthy diet & lack of exercise
  • High blood pressure & Cholesterol
  • Obesity & Diabetes
  • Smoking & Alcohol
  • Vitamin & Nutrition deficiencies

How can it be treated?

Treatment for dementia begins with identifying and treating the underlying cause such as nutritional deficiencies, hormonal changes, tutors or drug related dementia. In some cases, where the cure is not available as in case of Alzheimer’s, treatment can be aimed at effectively managing the cognitive & behavioural symptoms.

A combination of medications, psychotherapy and environmental modifications can be effective in treatment of dementia. Certain psychosocial interventions such as behaviour oriented therapy, emotion oriented therapy, cognition oriented therapy and stimulation oriented therapy may also be beneficial for the patient.

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