Alzheimer's disease & dementia

No association between antiepileptic drug use and dementia

Epilepsy is a common neurological condition with a prevalence of around 2%. Many antiepileptic drugs are available to prevent epileptic seizures, allowing up to 80 percent of patients to become seizure-free. However, previous ...

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Professional classical musicians are not protected from dementia

Listening and practicing music have been reported to have many beneficial effects on human health. The effect of music on human brain has been previously studied in young professionals but studies on the long-term effects ...

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Plunging temperatures a threat to people with Alzheimer's

(HealthDay)—The polar vortex that has enveloped much of the United States this week poses a special danger to people with Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia.

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

'Bugs' in the gut might predict dementia in the brain

The makeup of bacteria and other microbes in the gut may have a direct association with dementia risk, according to preliminary research to be presented in Honolulu at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke ...

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Does intensive blood pressure control reduce dementia?

Intensive lowering of blood pressure did not significantly reduce dementia risk but did have a measurable impact on mild cognitive impairment (MCI), according to the final, peer-reviewed results from the Systolic Blood Pressure ...

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

How to reduce your risks of dementia

Many people do not want to think about dementia, especially if their lives have not yet been touched by it. But a total of 9.9 million people worldwide are diagnosed with dementia each year. That is one person every 3.2 seconds.

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Dementia

Dementia (meaning "deprived of mind") is a cognitive impairment. It may be static, the result of a unique global brain injury or progressive, resulting in long-term decline in cognitive function due to damage or disease in the body beyond what might be expected from normal aging. Although dementia is far more common in the geriatric population, it may occur in any stage of adulthood. This age cutoff is defining, as similar sets of symptoms due to organic brain syndrome or dysfunction, are given different names in populations younger than adult. Up to the end of the nineteenth century, dementia was a much broader clinical concept.

Dementia is a non-specific illness syndrome (set of signs and symptoms) in which affected areas of cognition may be memory, attention, language, and problem solving. It is normally required to be present for at least 6 months to be diagnosed; cognitive dysfunction which has been seen only over shorter times, particularly less than weeks, must be termed delirium. In all types of general cognitive dysfunction, higher mental functions are affected first in the process. Especially in the later stages of the condition, affected persons may be disoriented in time (not knowing what day of the week, day of the month, or even what year it is), in place (not knowing where they are), and in person (not knowing who they are or others around them). Dementia, though often treatable to some degree, is usually due to causes which are progressive and incurable.

Symptoms of dementia can be classified as either reversible or irreversible, depending upon the etiology of the disease. Less than 10 percent of cases of dementia are due to causes which may presently be reversed with treatment. Causes include many different specific disease processes, in the same way that symptoms of organ dysfunction such as shortness of breath, jaundice, or pain are attributable to many etiologies. Without careful assessment of history, the short-term syndrome of delirium (often lasting days to weeks) can easily be confused with dementia, because they have all symptoms in common, save duration, and the fact that delirium is often associated with over-activity of the sympathetic nervous system. Some mental illnesses, including depression and psychosis, may also produce symptoms which must be differentiated from both delirium and dementia.

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