Senile dementia is a disease caused by degeneration of the brain cells. It is different from normal senility in the elderly in that the patient's brain function will gradually deteriorate resulting in progressive loss of memory and mental abilities, and noticeable personality changes.
Dementia is always caused by an underlying disease or condition. Brain tissue is damaged, and functioning is diminished. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer's disease, a progressive brain disorder causing deterioration in memory and thought processes.
Certain abnormalities of a person's metabolism or hormones may also be responsible for the development of dementia, including the following:
In some of these cases, dementia can be reversed by removing the toxic agent or bringing vitamin levels back to normal.
Symptoms at the early stage include the following:
Symptoms at the middle stage include the following:
Symptoms at the later stage include the following:
Alzheimer's disease and multi-infarct dementia are degenerative diseases, and up to now there is no effective treatment. It is best to recognize the symptoms early and be diagnosed and assessed by a doctor. There are currently some medications available to slow the progress of Alzheimer's disease.
If you recognize the symptoms of senile dementia in a family member, these steps should be taken:
There is up till now no effective way to prevent Alzheimer's disease. However, multi-infarct dementia is caused by damaged blood vessels, and can be prevented through healthy living habits.
Alzheimer's Disease is the most common cause of dementia, being responsible for 60-80% of cases. All people with Alzheimer's disease have problems with memory loss, disorientation and thinking ability.
Memory impairment and cognitive dysfunction are rarely encountered in early stage Parkinson's disease. However, about 30% of Parkinson's disease victims eventually develop Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia.
Dizziness can be caused by any condition causing confusion or an altered state of mind, including medications, drugs or alcohol.
Although many people with Down's syndrome do develop dementia in their later years, this is by no means inevitable. Research indicates that although the incidence of dementia in people with Down's syndrome is similar to that of the general population, it occurs some 20-30 years earlier.
Multi-infarct dementia is caused by a series of minor strokes. It usually results from damage to the small blood vessels in the brain causing deprivation of blood supply to the brain cells thus affecting its function. Patients' abilities will decline in a step-like pattern.
A 2012 study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that those who couldn't chew properly because they were missing teeth and didn't wear dentures were at increased risk (91% for men, 22% for women) for developing dementia than those who were able to chew normally. Those who could chew properly but didn't brush daily also had increased risk (22% for men, 65% for women). Among those who had not seen their dentist within the last 12 months there was also increased risk (89% for men, 12% for women) compared to those who had seen the dentist two or more times.
It is believed that the inflammation associated with periodontal disease may affect the brain, contributing to dementia, and that those with fewer teeth who don't wear dentures may develop dietary deficiencies that are related to dementia.
The B vitamins, particularly B6, B9 and B12, help us to stay mentally sharp. As we age, we lose about 2% of our brain volume every 10 years. B vitamins help reduce levels of homocysteine, which is linked to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Studies have shown that individuals taking B vitamins experience less brain atrophy and better cognitive function than those who do not.
Because of its potential to stimulate endogenous L- DOPA synthesis, 17 patients in one study with symptoms ranging from mild cognitive decline to severe dementia received oral NADH as the disodium salt 10mg in the morning 30 minutes before breakfast. All showed a significant improvement in mental function within 8-12 weeks.
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