Dementia is a term used to describe when the loss of certain behavioral abilities, remembering, thinking, and reasoning causes interference in an individual's daily activities and life. Dementia develops when neurons in the brain become non-functional, lose the ability to communicate with other cells in the brain, and die. Individuals may experience issues with several cognitive functions when they develop dementia. Examples include language skills, ability to focus, and memory. Dementia patients may also experience personality changes and difficulty controlling their emotions. The severity can range from mild cognitive impairment and occasional forgetfulness to severe stages where they are entirely dependent on others.
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for dementia. Thus, dementia treatment focuses on symptom management and preventing cognitive decline. Many patients will take medication for Alzheimer's disease. Some individuals have seen success with vitamin supplements for dementia as well. Brain training for dementia is another common treatment. Of course, it is vital to know the types of dementia to obtain the best treatment for it.
The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer's disease. It develops when clumps of certain proteins build up in the junctions in between the nerve cells. These proteins are called tangles and plaques. Alzheimer's disease patients will also deal with a decrease in neurotransmitters, which are responsible for passing signals between the cells. Symptoms that this condition is interfering with a patient's life include losing items around the house, forgetting names of loved ones, and being unable to remember recent events and conversations. Others are getting lost on a familiar route or in a familiar place, forgetting significant dates, and not remembering to attend appointments.
Patients may also have reduced visuospatial skills, repeat themselves often, struggle to follow a conversation, cannot make decisions, and cannot carry out a sequence of tasks. In addition, they may be unable to solve problems, lose track of the day, experience mood changes, and lose interest in hobbies and activities that they once enjoyed. Every case is different, but most patients have a life expectancy of between eight and ten years following the onset of their first symptoms.