Senile dementia. How to recognize it and stages of the disease?

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Senile dementia is a disease that affects many seniors. It manifests as problems with memory and concentration. How do you recognize senile dementia and are there effective treatments? Let’s find out!

What is senile dementia?

Senile dementia is interchangeably called senile dementia. It is an insidious disease that reduces the efficiency of cognitive functions, which translates into a lower quality of daily functioning.

It is estimated that senile dementia concerns over 400 000 Polish seniors. Once the disease was attributed only to the elderly. Nowadays it happens that young patients also suffer from dementia

What are the causes of senile dementia? It is a result of neurodegenerative changes in brain tissues. The risk of development of the disease unit is increased by taking certain drugs, alcoholism, brain tumors, nutritional deficiencies, epilepsy, liver and thyroid diseases.

Symptoms of senile dementia – how to recognize the disease?

The characteristic symptoms of senile dementia include:

  • memory problems,
  • disorientation,
  • irritability,
  • aggression,
  • anxiety,
  • mood swings,
  • disorders of spatial and temporal orientation,
  • problems with choosing and using words appropriately,
  • limited social contact,
  • difficulty recognizing things and people.

Senile dementia – stages of the disease

Senile dementia is a disease that consists of three stages of progression. Each differs in its symptoms and degree of severity. In the first stage of senile dementia, the patient has minor memory problems, such as forgetting to pay bills or not remembering where they left their corrective glasses, blaming such “little things” on fatigue

In the second stage of senile dementia problems with memory intensify and are accompanied by irritability, apathy, problems with speaking. With time, the senior may withdraw from social life.

The third stage of the disease manifests itself by the fact that the patient loses contact with his surroundings and is incapable of independent existence. The patient has delusions, may run away from home, is increasingly aggressive and requires round-the-clock care.

Treatment for senile dementia

Unfortunately, there are currently no effective treatments for senile dementia. The structural changes that occur in the brain are irreversible. The only thing that modern medicine allows is to alleviate the symptoms of the disease.

In order to improve the patient’s daily life, special drugs are used to increase the level of acetylcholine – a substance that is responsible for learning processes and memory. Another part of the therapy is brain exercises, such as reading books, solving crossword puzzles or board games like checkers or chess.

How long does senile dementia last?

Many people who hear the diagnosis “senile dementia” wonder how long the disease takes to develop? The condition develops individually in each patient. Sometimes it is a few months, while in others the dementia lasts for years. The sooner the disease entity is recognized, the sooner symptomatic treatment and rehabilitation can be implemented and the senior can be cared for appropriately, making their life more comfortable.

In summary, senile dementia is an incurable disease that impairs brain function on many levels. It most often affects the elderly, although sometimes the disease is diagnosed in younger patients as well.

Main photo: SHVETS production/pexels.com

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