Dementia: Identification, Diagnosis, and Treatment
The article is professionally consulted by Master, Doctor Ton That Tri Dung - Department of Examination & Internal Medicine - Vinmec Danang International Hospital
Amnesia is the inability to remember past events, often due to trauma, illness, or the effects of a stimulant. In addition, this symptom can also be caused by other causes such as aging, stress or lack of sleep.
1. What is dementia?
Dementia is a syndrome associated with a significant decline in cognitive abilities such as attention, memory, language, logical reasoning, and problem-solving skills. People with dementia often have difficulty learning new information and forming new memories.
2. Causes of dementia
In general, dementia occurs more often with increasing age. There are a few different causes of dementia, with Alzheimer's being the most common form of dementia (accounting for 60-70% of cases). The remaining causes can be:
Brain stroke: cerebral hemorrhage, cerebral infarction, subarachnoid hemorrhage Encephalitis (bacterial or viral) Brain hypoxia: as in the case of heart stroke, respiratory failure or carbon monoxide poisoning Prolonged alcohol abuse leads to Vitamin B1 deficiency (Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome) Brain tumors: related to the memory region Certain drugs: such as benzodiazepines or other drugs sedating medications Traumatic brain injury More rarely, dissociative dementia is related to psychological factors, resulting from mental trauma, psychological shock such as a car accident. perpetrators of violent crimes. In this disorder, the victim often loses personal and autobiographical memory, but usually only for a short time.
3. Symptoms of dementia
Includes two main features of amnesia:
Anterograde amnesia is the inability to form new memories. Retrograde amnesia refers to the loss of memory for events prior to a particular point in time. Most people with dementia have short-term memory problems – they are unable to recall new information. Recent memories may be lost but more distant or childhood memories are preserved. Many people can recall childhood memories or know the names of past presidents, but cannot name the current president, or can't tell what menu they ate that day.
Dementia does not affect a person's intelligence, personality or judgment, but is merely amnesia and no other cognitive dysfunction.
4. Diagnosing dementia
Memory loss can be a sign of serious medical problems, so the person needs a comprehensive evaluation by a doctor:
Because the person with dementia cannot provide complete information. and details, hence the need to obtain patient information from family, friends or caregivers.
Your doctor will use information to understand memory loss including:
Type of memory loss: short-term or long-term Time and course at the onset of memory loss Risk factors: head trauma, stroke or surgery... Family history: especially neurological diseases Abuse of alcohol, drugs or tranquilizers.. Other symptoms such as: speech disorders language, cognitive changes, self-care... CLINICAL EXAMINATION:
The doctor needs to fully examine all organs as well as nerves including: motor function, sensation, balance ..and use cognitive testing by testing short-term and long-term memory through general information, such as the name of the current president, or the time of day of the year, or the doctor asks the patient repeat the vocabulary lists listed earlier.
Some additional tests may be ordered based on history and general condition. Commonly ordered tests include:
Blood and urine tests; Chest X-ray; MRI or CT brain scan; Electroencephalogram (EEG); Analysis of spinal fluid by lumbar puncture. Early diagnosis improves the quality of life for the person with dementia as well as their family members, through therapeutic interventions to optimize physical and mental health.
5. Treatment of dementia
According to experts, the goal of dementia treatment is to manage symptoms. In some cases, acetylcholinesterase inhibitors can help slow cognitive changes. However, for the most part, the effects of medication are limited and do not prevent the underlying condition. Other emotional and psychological therapies are also included as part of the overall treatment plan.
For young people, if dementia persists despite treatment, it is advisable to write down things to do on a notepad or notebook to aid in remembering in daily life and work.
In a nutshell, dementia is a syndrome that causes a decline in a person's memory, thinking, behavior, and ability to perform daily activities. This is one of the main reasons why older people depend on their children and grandchildren, causing physical, psychological, and economic impacts. Dementia affects not only the sufferer directly, but also carers, families, and society at large. Therefore, dementia needs to be considered a priority in the field of public health, which needs to be studied to develop new and more effective treatments.
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Article referenced source: Webmd.com
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