Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Lifestyle choices could slow familial frontotemporal dementia

A physically and mentally active lifestyle confers resilience to frontotemporal dementia (FTD), even in people whose genetic profile makes the eventual development of the disease virtually inevitable, according to new research ...

Health

Therapy at home helping people with dementia

Receiving occupational therapy at home has been found to be effective for people living with dementia, according to a University of Queensland-led study.

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Team detects Alzheimer's early using electronic health records

A team of scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has developed a software-based method of scanning electronic health records (EHRs) to estimate the risk that a healthy person will receive a dementia diagnosis ...

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Astrophysics and AI may offer key to early dementia diagnosis

Crucial early diagnosis of dementia in general practice could improve thanks to a computer model designed in a collaboration between Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) and astrophysicists at the University of Sussex.

Neuroscience

Simple tool shows life expectancy after dementia diagnosis

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet and from the Netherlands have developed a simple tool that shows the survival probability of a person with dementia over three years. They hope this will facilitate dialog with the most ...

Neuroscience

Inflammatory marker linked to dementia

An inflammatory marker called sCD14 is related to brain atrophy, cognitive decline and dementia, according to a study of more than 4,700 participants from two large community-based heart studies. The study was published Monday, ...

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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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