According to the World Health Organization, there are around 50 million people suffering from dementia and approximately 10 million new cases appear every year which means there is 1 new case every 3 seconds. It is estimated that by 2050 there will be 150 million people suffering from dementia.
Although ¼ hospital beds are occupied by dementia patients and it does affect older people but it is not a normal part of aging. Dementia has a very high social and economic cost as only in 2015, the global societal cost of dementia was estimated to be 818 million USD. Dementia can also be disturbing for other family members due to emotional and financial pressures. Fortunately, there are treatment and care options available for different types of dementia. Following is an overview of dementia diseases and how Primary Care of Telfair is helping elders to live a healthy and fulfilling life by controlling dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
What is Dementia?
Dementia is not a specific single disease, rather it is a term referred to a group of medical conditions that affect cognitive skills like thinking, remembering, reasoning, making decisions and interactions in daily activities.
Dementia is caused due to the lack of communication between brain cells. Types of dementia are determined by the type of damaged cells and brain region. These types are grouped depending on the things in common. The most common types of dementia include:
- Alzheimer’s Diseases
- Vascular Dementia
- Lew body Dementia
- Fronto Temporal Dementia
- Mixed Dementia
There are various other medical conditions that may look alike dementia and that can be easily reversed, some of which are:
- Immune System Disorder
- Metabolic Problem
- Nutritional Deficiencies
- Medication Side Effects
Is There Any Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Alzheimer’s is often misunderstood and interpreted as dementia, but in fact, it is just a type of dementia. While dementia is a general term for medical conditions that affect cognitive skills, Alzheimer’s is a specific disease. Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disease that is caused by the mutilation of nerve cells called neurons. The symptoms of Alzheimer’s include lack of memory, poor thinking and remembering skills, and lack of speech and communication. If not diagnosed and treated on time, it can get severe and affect physical activities. From 2000 to 2018, deaths from Alzheimer’s have increased by 146%.
Symptoms Of Dementia
Depending on the type of dementia, the symptoms may vary but the most common symptoms of dementia are listed below:
- Memory loss
- Communication difficulties
- Visual memory difficulties
- Difficulty in reasoning and problem-solving
- Decreased ability to handle complex tasks and concentrating
- Difficulty in organizing
- Difficulty with motor functions
- Behavioral changes
These symptoms are usually noticed by family members, friends, and coworkers. Although these symptoms are classified as a mild cognitive impairment If not diagnosed and treated timely it can get worsen or permanent.
Prevention and care of Dementia in Telfair
In order to understand the prevention for dementia in Telfair, Sugarland, we should know the risk factors of dementia. The risk factors that contribute to dementia and cannot be changed include:
- Down syndrome
Although preventions of dementia are not so certain but following are some of the risk factors that can be controlled and prevented.
- Smoking and alcohol use
- Diet and exercise
- Vitamin and nutritional deficiencies
- Mental and physical activity
- Sleep quality
- Cardiovascular management
Diagnosis And Treatment Of Dementia in Telfair
Researches show that 90% of dementia cases go undiagnosed in low-income countries and only 50% of dementia cases are being diagnosed in high-income countries. Diagnosing the type of dementia is very important as some types cannot be treated and only be controlled or managed. Dementia is diagnosed by examining family medical history, physical examination, and laboratory tests.
The physical assessment consists of analyzing the patterns of decreased functionality in memory, speech and communication, thinking, reasoning, remembering, and many motor functions. There is no single test that can diagnose dementia; there are a number of tests that will help the doctor to determine the type and severity of dementia, the most common of which are:
- Neuropsychological tests
- Brain scans
- PET scans
- Psychiatric evaluation
- Blood test
The treatment of dementia in Telfair is heavily depends on the type of dementia as for some types there is no known treatment available and certain drugs are used to mitigate the symptoms. Depending on the type of dementia, the patient’s age, the severity of illness, and other such factors your doctor can prescribe you medication and therapies.
Although many doctors for dementia treatment in Telfair, believe that dementia happens due to aging and nothing can be done about that. Internist, Doctor Aaliya Islam at Primary Care of Telfair believe that many cases can be treated by controlling the symptoms of the illness. We have developed therapy courses that have been successfully helping elders controlling dementia and Alzheimer’s diseases.