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  • 1. Dementia Kelsey Boyd Black
  • 2. General Information
    • Dementia is not a specific disease. It is a group of symptoms caused by other disorders that affect the brain.
    • This disease used to be considered typical for aging people. We now know it is not common to get this from aging and is found in younger people as well.
    • You have two or more impaired brain functions to be diagnosed Dementia. Some people with memory loss can be mistaken for Dementia.
    • Dementia is not curable unless found soon enough.
  • 3. Dementia Classifications There are 5 different groups
    • Cortical Dementia- Affects the brain’s cortex. Causes problems with memory, language, thinking and social behavior.
    • Subcortical Dementia- Affects the part of the brain below the cortex. Causes change in emotions and movement along with memory problems.
    • Progressive Dementia- This type gets worse within time. Interferes with cognitive abilities.
    • Primary Dementia- Does not result from any other disease.
    • Secondary Dementia- Results from a physical disease or an injury.
  • 4. What causes Dementia?
    • Diseases that cause loss of nerve cells in the brain such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s. Or diseases that affect blood vessels such as a stroke.
    • Excessive drug or alcohol use.
    • Infections such as AIDS, Lyme disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease that affect the brain and spinal cord.
    • Head injuries
    • Illnesses that aren’t in the brain such as kidney, live and lung diseases.
  • 5. Symptoms
    • The first sign is forgetting things.
    • Change in sleep patterns, insomnia or need for sleep increase.
    • Disorientation. Being confused about people, places or times.
    • Decrease in problem-solving skills. You may having problems making calculation or feel like you are unable to learn, think abstractly, or think in general terms.
    • Having a hard time recognizing familiar objects or people and recognizing through the senses.
    • Having a hard time with language. This includes unable to form words, name objects, read or write, repeat a phase, speak without muscle paralysis, understand speech.
    • Short and or long term memory problems.
    • Personality changes such as anxiety, loose the ability to care for oneself, decrease interest in daily living activities, depression, no mood, irritability, poor temper control, unable to interact socially, unable to make decisions.
  • 6. Diagnosis
    • A diagnosis requires a medical history, physical examination and lab tests.
  • 7. Treatment
    • If dementia is reversible than the doctor will try the following: Vitamins for B12 deficiency, thyroid hormones, having a surgery to remove brain tumors, stop/change any medicines that could be causing memory loss or confusion, and medication for depression.
    • If dementia is not reversible then the plan is to control the symptoms.
  • 8. References
    • http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/dementia.html
    • http://www.emedicinehealth.com/dementia_overview/article_em.htm
    • https://health.google.com/health/ref/Dementia
    • http://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/tc/dementia-treatment-overview