Pathophysiology and Early Symptoms of Dementia

Pathophysiology and Early Symptoms of Dementia
Dementia is not a specific disease. Dementia is a term used to describe a collection of symptoms that can be caused by a variety of disorders that affect the brain. A person with dementia have impaired intellectual functioning and causes disruption in daily activities or relationships with people around. People with dementia also lose the ability to solve problems, control emotions, and can even experience personality changes and behavioral problems such as irritability and hallucinations. A person diagnosed with dementia when two or more brain functions, such as memory and language skills, decreased significantly without loss of consciousness.

Pathophysiology of dementia usually begins gradually and increasingly worse, so that this situation did not at first realize. A decline in memory, the ability to remember the time and the ability to recognize people, places and objects. Patients have difficulty in finding and using the right words and the abstract thinking (eg in the use of numbers). Frequent changes in personality and behavior disorders.

Early symptoms usually are oblivious to what just happened but it could also begin as depression, fear, anxiety, decreased emotion, or other personality changes. There is a change in the pattern of speaking lightly so people use words more simple, using words that are not appropriate or not being able to find the right words. Inability to interpret the signs could pose difficulties in driving. In the end, patients are unable to perform their social functions.

Some people can hide their deficiencies well. They avoid complex activities (such as reading or working). Patients who do not succeed in changing his life may experience frustration because of inability to perform everyday tasks. Patients forget to perform the essential duties or wrong in doing the task.

Dementia is quite common in the elderly, afflicts about 16% of the age group above 65 years of age and 32-50% in the age group above 85 years. In about 10-20% of cases of dementia are reversible or treatable. The most frequent cause of dementia is Alzheimer's disease. Causes of Alzheimer's disease is unknown, but is thought to involve genetic factors, because the disease seems to be found in some families and are caused or influenced by several specific gene abnormalities. In Alzheimer's disease, some parts of the brain decline, resulting in cell damage and reduced response to a chemical that transmits signals in the brain. In the brain found abnormal tissue (called senile plaques and irregular nerve fibers) and abnormal proteins, which can be seen at autopsy. Lewy Body dementia closely resembles Alzheimer's disease, but have differences in microscopic changes that occur in the brain.
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