What is dementia?

Anything which is not Alzheimer’s is lumped together as dementias. They all lead to a lack of memory and symptoms very similar to Alzheimer’s disease, but they are distinct clinical entities. They include:

AIDS dementia – loss of brain tissue that causes a slow-down of thoughts and verbal expression. There is a lack of interest, apathy, possible depression. Muscle weakness, problems with the gait and a general slowing of movements set in. It is diagnosed using a single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scan in combination with MRI brain scan.

Creutzfeld-Jacob disease dementia (CJD) – infectious cause of dementia which is transmitted by a corrupted protein called prion. The signs and symptoms of CJD dementia include: memory loss, blurred vision, dizziness, muscle shaking (myoclonus), hyperreflexia, muscle atrophy, muscle fasciculation, gait problems, double vision, and blurring of vision.

Dementia due to subdural hematoma – follows head trauma due to a disruption of subdural veins and slow leakage and accumulation of blood. The signs and symptoms of a subdural hematoma include: constant headaches, drowsiness, mental confusion, gait problems, diminished upper extremity function, and confusion.  A neurosurgeon will request a CT or MRI scan to identify the problem.

Dementia due to Huntington’s Disease (Chorea) – Huntington’s disease is a genetic abnormality, which starts at an age of 35 to 50 years. It affects muscle movement, gait and psyche. Later into the disease patients lose their physical capabilities and mental capacity more and more. Walking becomes impossible, and swallowing can be difficult to the point where a gastric feeding tube has to be considered. The mental functioning deteriorates rapidly into a progressive dementia. Before the dementia develops fully with Alzheimer’s type symptoms, there can be a confusing array cheap jerseys china of mental disturbances in the beginning ranging from apathy to a type of schizophrenia and symptoms of bipolar disease.

Lewy body dementia – likely the second most common dementia after Alzheimer’s disease. Typical signs and symptoms include visual hallucinations, sensitivity to antipsychotic medications, and a decrease in the metabolism of the occipital part of the brain (in the back of the brain).

Trauma induced dementia – occurs when the brain is jarred from a blow to the head. A number of such injuries over a period of time can leave the person with microscars in the brain that seriously affect the brain’s function. The neurologist will organize a CT scan for observation.

Vascular dementia – Hardening of the arteries in the brain vessels leads to multiple smaller infarcts that lead to loss of mental functioning (dementia). Usually this happens more often in males, after the age of 70. There often is a history of smoking, prior heart attack, high blood pressure or diabetes. This dementia develops stepwise getting worse after each mini-stroke. The vascular dementia might start with tiredness and some confusion and then progress to different neurological signs depending on where the mini-stroke lesions are Cheap NFL Authentic Jerseys located. This can grow into a full-fledged stroke with paralysis of one body half (hemiplegia).

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