Dementia


Dementia is characterized by progressive memory deterioration. It is a neuro-degenarative disorder affecting 1-2% population.It affects age group of above 65 years.

In this disorder cognitive abilities are affected. The main domains affected are:

  1. Memory
  2. Complex attention
  3. Learning
  4. Executive Functions

Most common types are Alzheimer's Dementia, Vascular Dementia and Dementia with lewy bodies.
It requires proper recognition and treatment. The diagnosis is based on;

    
  1. Clinical features
  2. Neuro-imaging
  3. Neuro-cognitive tests.

It is a challenge for the care giver to see their loved ones go through this process, where they have trouble remembering names and doing basic day to day activities.

Treatment Goals are:

  1. Treat Insomnia i.e. sleep disturbance
  2. Cholinesterase Inhibitors are treatment of cognitive symptoms.
  3. Evaluate for depression and treat if required
  4. If psychotic symptoms and agitation are present it should be pharmacotherapy treated.
  5. Address family and caregiver issues.
  6. Ensure adequate nursing care measures to prevent bed sores and contractures

Tips to caregivers:

  1. Ask for help when you need it.
  2. Practice self-compassion
  3. Join a caregivers’ support group online or in-person
  4. Adequate sleep every night
  5. Exercise as often as you can
  6. Take breaks each day

Dementia is a global health issue, numbers of people affected affected with Dementia worldwide are estimated to be 44 millions.

How to Prevent Dementia

  1. Stop smoking
  2. Keep your brain engaged, solve puzzles, play word games and try other mentally stimulating activities.
  3. Exercise at least for 30 minutes everyday
  4. Follow a diet filled with whole grains, fruits, fish, nuts and beans.
Articles Compiled By: Dr. Deepika Verma Gulati

Health & Happiness Clinic
Plot No. 14, Basement LSC Market, Saini Enclave, East Delhi-110092