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:
- Complex attention
- 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;
- Clinical features
- 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:
- Treat Insomnia i.e. sleep disturbance
- Cholinesterase Inhibitors are treatment of cognitive symptoms.
- Evaluate for depression and treat if required
- If psychotic symptoms and agitation are present it should be pharmacotherapy treated.
- Address family and caregiver issues.
- Ensure adequate nursing care measures to prevent bed sores and contractures
Tips to caregivers:
- Ask for help when you need it.
- Practice self-compassion
- Join a caregivers’ support group online or in-person
- Adequate sleep every night
- Exercise as often as you can
- 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
- Stop smoking
- Keep your brain engaged, solve puzzles, play word games and try other mentally stimulating activities.
- Exercise at least for 30 minutes everyday
- 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