Dementia is a very wide term that includes many different diseases associated with cognitive abilities and neurologic function. This type of disease is a life-changer, not only for the patient, but also for his or her family members. It is very difficult to see how dementia takes away what you loved from your relatives, and how memory loss starts affecting the relationships in everyone in your family. This type of disease is based on neurologic dysfunction, and may be caused by several problems, including vascular abnormalities and accumulation of waste products.
The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, and they are all more prevalent as we age. There are some forms of senile dementia with a mild decay in cognitive abilities, but severe cases become in turn a cause of disability and mental health problems.
The most widely studied form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease because two-thirds of cases are diagnosed as such. In these patients, amyloid plaques start to form in key regions of the brain, and even though there are asymptomatic individuals, the majority start displaying a series of signs and symptoms as the amyloid plaques become larger.
The most important symptoms are as follows:
One of the key manifestations of dementia is memory loss. It is a shared symptom in Alzheimer’s disease and the rest of dementias. It is often the reason why patients detect senile dementia, because they start forgetting about things and have problems collecting and maintaining new memories.
Memory loss is a symptom that is present in every phase of dementia, even in mild cases and early phases of Alzheimer’s disease. Patients will forget things they learned moments ago, and it becomes increasingly difficult to retain memories and learn new things. Thus, they feel forced to rely on others or write every single thing that happens or needs especial attention as a measure to stop forgetting important things.