Alzheimer's disease & dementia

The danger of Z-drugs for dementia patients

Strong sleeping pills known as 'Z-drugs' are linked with an increased risk of falls, fractures and stroke among people with dementia—according to research from the University of East Anglia.

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Football and dementia: heading must be banned until the age of 18

Alarm bells are ringing in sport about the risk of a group of chronic, neuro-degenerative diseases, commonly understood as dementia. There is an increasingly large body of evidence which has identified that small, repetitive ...

Arthritis & Rheumatism

Reducing dementia in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

The incidence of dementia in patients with rheumatoid arthritis is lower in patients receiving biologic or targeted synthetic disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) than in patients who receive conventional synthetic ...

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Why people with dementia go missing

People with dementia are more likely to go missing in areas where road networks are dense, complicated and disordered—according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Study raises questions about role of leisure activity in dementia

Studies have suggested that taking part in leisure activities such as playing cards or gardening may be associated with a lower risk of developing dementia. But a new study found no association between taking part in leisure ...

Health

Hard physical work significantly increases the risk of dementia

The muscles and joints are not the only parts of the body to be worn down by physical work. The brain and heart suffer too. A new study from the University of Copenhagen shows that people doing hard physical work have a 55% ...

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Dementia leading cause of death in September

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today (23 October) revealed "dementia and Alzheimer's disease" were the leading cause of death in September. Collectively they accounted for 11.2% of all deaths in England and ...

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Dementia (taken from Latin, originally meaning "madness", from de- "without" + ment, the root of mens "mind") is a serious loss of global cognitive ability in a previously unimpaired person, beyond what might be expected from normal aging. It may be static, the result of a unique global brain injury, or progressive, resulting in long-term decline due to damage or disease in the body. Although dementia is far more common in the geriatric population, it can occur before the age of 65, in which case it is termed "early onset dementia".

Dementia is not a single disease, but rather a non-specific illness syndrome (i.e., set of signs and symptoms) in which affected areas of cognition may be memory, attention, language, and problem solving. It is normally required to be present for at least 6 months to be diagnosed; cognitive dysfunction that has been seen only over shorter times, in particular less than weeks, must be termed delirium. In all types of general cognitive dysfunction, higher mental functions are affected first in the process.

Especially in the later stages of the condition, affected persons may be disoriented in time (not knowing what day of the week, day of the month, or even what year it is), in place (not knowing where they are), and in person (not knowing who they, or others around them, are). Dementia, though often treatable to some degree, is usually due to causes that are progressive and incurable.

Symptoms of dementia can be classified as either reversible or irreversible, depending upon the etiology of the disease. Less than 10% of cases of dementia are due to causes that may presently be reversed with treatment. Causes include many different specific disease processes, in the same way that symptoms of organ dysfunction such as shortness of breath, jaundice, or pain are attributable to many etiologies.

Without careful assessment of history, the short-term syndrome of delirium (often lasting days to weeks) can easily be confused with dementia, because they have all symptoms in common, save duration. Some mental illnesses, including depression and psychosis, may produce symptoms that must be differentiated from both delirium and dementia.

There are many specific types (causes) of dementia, often showing slightly different symptoms. However, the symptom overlap is such that it is impossible to diagnose the type of dementia by symptomatology alone, and in only a few cases are symptoms enough to give a high probability of some specific cause. Diagnosis is therefore aided by nuclear medicine brain scanning techniques. Certainty cannot be attained except with brain biopsy during life, or at necropsy in death.

Some of the most common forms of dementia are: Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, semantic dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies. It is possible for a patient to exhibit two or more dementing processes at the same time, as none of the known types of dementia protects against the others.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA