Overview. Dementia is a general term impaired thinking, remembering or reasoning that can affect a person's ability to function safely. The term has been replaced by “major neurocognitive disorder” and “mild cognitive disorder” in medical terminology.
While dementia is a general term, Alzheimer's disease is a specific brain disease. It is marked by symptoms of dementia that gradually get worse over time. Alzheimer's disease first affects the part of the brain associated with learning, so early symptoms often include changes in memory, thinking and reasoning skills.
What is the most common cause of death in dementia patients?
One of the most common causes of death for people with dementia is pneumonia caused by an infection. A person in the later stages of dementia may have symptoms that suggest that they are close to death, but can sometimes live with these symptoms for many months.
Dementia is caused by damage to brain cells. This damage interferes with the ability of brain cells to communicate with each other. When brain cells cannot communicate normally, thinking, behavior and feelings can be affected.
What are the final stages of dementia before death?
Signs of the final stages of dementia include some of the following: Being unable to move around on one's own. Being unable to speak or make oneself understood. Eating problems such as difficulty swallowing.
What is the life expectancy of someone with vascular dementia?
On average, people with vascular dementia live for around five years after symptoms begin, less than the average for Alzheimer's disease. Because vascular dementia shares many of the same risk factors as heart attack and stroke, in many cases, the person's death will be caused by a stroke or heart attack.
Emil Kraepelin (1856–1926), a doctor in Germany, classified dementia into senile dementia and presenile dementia in 1910. He was the first to name the disease as 'Alzheimer's disease', after Alois Alzheimer (1864–1915), who discovered pathological features of presenile dementia while his student.
It is quite common for a person with dementia, especially in the later stages, to spend a lot of their time sleeping – both during the day and night. This can sometimes be distressing for the person's family and friends, as they may worry that something is wrong.
End-stage dementia symptoms may indicate that the patient is dying or close to death: Problems with everyday functions, including bathing, dressing, eating, and going to the bathroom. Inability to walk or sit up in bed without assistance. Inability to speak and show facial expressions.
They may have problems with their dentures, sore gums or painful teeth. Dental care, oral hygiene and regular mouth checks are important. Tiredness and concentration – tiredness can cause people with dementia to not eat or give up partway through a meal.
In Radiology, patients pose this question often. “Can MRI show if I have dementia?” In fact, we scan patients every day with a diagnosis of dementia, memory loss, Alzheimer's, and confusion, among a variety of other neurological disorders. The truth is that MRI is NOT the test to formally diagnose dementia.
What other conditions can be mistaken for dementia?
Depression, nutritional deficiencies, side-effects from medications and emotional distress can all produce symptoms that can be mistaken as early signs of dementia, such as communication and memory difficulties and behavioural changes.
'Too much sugar is linked to type 2 diabetes and our previous research has identified type 2 diabetes as a risk factor for dementia. This study backs up this evidence, suggesting that excess sugar may increase our risk of Alzheimer's disease, and all types of sugar – from fruit juice to lemonade – have the same impact.
other long-term health problems – dementia tends to progress more quickly if the person is living with other conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure, particularly if these are not well-managed.
Takeaways: Some causes of dementia can be reversed through proper identification, intervention, and treatment. Nurses play an essential role in improving the lives of many older adults by recognizing and treating reversible forms of dementia.
There is currently no "cure" for dementia. In fact, because dementia is caused by different diseases it is unlikely that there will be a single cure for dementia. Research is aimed at finding cures for dementia-causing diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies.