Dementia 101

People get confused between dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Are they the same?  Is dementia a form of Alzheimer’s?  Or is Alzheimer’s a form of dementia?

Dementia 101 will help you understand that the term dementia refers to a group of symptomss / conditions that are unique but may have similar characteristics.
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When I was growing up, all children had measles, mumps and chicken pox……each was different from the other, but they were categorized as communicable diseases. A similar concept applies to the term dementia.   Dementia is a general, umbrella term that refers to many forms of dementia that are similar, yet different.

When we think of individuals with dementia, we think of people who are confused and have short term memory issues… people who lose their car keys… get lost when driving or show up at doctor’s appointments when they have no appointment.  These are all behaviors that some individuals who have dementia might experience. What I want to do in Dementia 101 is identify the various types and causes of dementia.  I won’t go into great detail about each one now, but will in future postings.

One of the most important concepts you need to understand is that no two people are alike.  Just as our finger prints are unique, so is how individuals’ exhibit dementia.  There are symptoms and behaviors that many individuals may share, but each person is affected according to what part of the brain has been touched by the disease process.

Dementia refers to a group of symptoms that negatively affects one’s cognitive ability to carry out daily tasks the require memory, reasoning and logic. Dementia is not a disease, but a group of symptoms.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CAUSES OF DEMENTIA?

  • Metabolic Imbalances (Kidneys, Liver or Thyroid)
  • UTI  (Urinary Tract Infection)
  • Head Trauma
  • Strokes
  • Brain Tumors
  • Cross-Interaction of Medications
  • Over Medication
  • Vitamin B12 Deficiency
  • Chronic Alcoholism
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Genetics
  • Drug Abuse
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