Think about striving to work tougher in an effort to get pleasure from a relaxed, lengthy retirement solely to stay a life the place you aren’t able to recognising your family members or environment and can’t do staple items like costume and feed your self with out help.
That’s what dementia, a degenerative mind illness does.
Dr Sylvia Mbugua, a marketing consultant Neurologist at Aga Khan College Hospital, Nairobi helps shed some mild on this illness.
Is Dementia a illness, or just the method of ageing?
Dementia is a neurological illness characterised by deterioration in reminiscence, pondering, behaviour and the flexibility to make selections and carry out on a regular basis actions. Though dementia primarily impacts older individuals, it’s not a standard a part of ageing. “Early-onset dementia” is uncommon however can happen.
Is Dementia and Alzheimer’s illness one and the identical?
Alzheimer’s illness is the commonest type of dementia in people who find themselves over 65 years and contributes to about 60 to 70 per cent of dementia instances. Dementia may also end result from quite a lot of circumstances together with continual alcoholism, stroke, Wilson’s illness, herpes virus and HIV infections, thyroid illness and vitamin deficiency.
What are the chance components?
Though age is the strongest recognized danger issue for dementia, some individuals will develop dementia, whereas others stay to a ripe outdated age with their thoughts as sharp as a 20-year-old. A number of issues determineyour danger of growing dementia – age, genetic components, sure well being components and your life-style. When you have a household historical past of dementia, you stand a better danger of growing dementia with time.
Hypertension, weight problems, excessive ldl cholesterol and diabetes are additionally danger components for dementia. Many research have proven that individuals with one in all these circumstances throughout their midlife are about twice as more likely to develop dementia later in life. When you have a couple of of those circumstances, your danger is even larger. Smoking and alcohol additionally put you in danger.
What can one do to cut back the chance?
There’s nothing you are able to do about ageing or your genes, however you are able to do one thing about your well being. Conserving your weight inside the acceptable bracket, managing blood stress, ldl cholesterol and blood sugar at wholesome ranges are necessary to your mind. Keep away from head harm, smoking and melancholy.
Commonly exercising in addition to difficult your mind via cognitive psychological and social actions is related to a decrease danger of dementia. A nutritious diet, low in crimson meat and excessive in Omega 3 fatty acids, coconut and olive oil, plenty of fruit and greens, nuts, complete grains, legumes and vitamin E is really helpful.
How do you diagnose dementia?
Sadly, there is no such thing as a one check to find out if somebody has dementia. Medical doctors diagnose Alzheimer’s and different sorts of dementia primarily based on a cautious medical historical past, a bodily examination, MRI scans and the attribute adjustments in pondering, day-to-day operate and conduct related to every kind.
Laboratory exams and MRI imaging are additionally performed to exclude different causes of dementia which could possibly be treatable, particularly in youthful sufferers.
What are the signs?
Though the early indicators fluctuate, frequent signs embrace progressive forgetfulness, shedding monitor of time and incapacity to recognise acquainted locations.
As dementia progresses to the center stage, the indicators and signs turn out to be clearer and extra limiting. These embrace turning into forgetful of latest occasions and other people’s names, getting misplaced at dwelling, having growing issue with communication, needing assist with private care, experiencing behaviour adjustments, together with wandering and repeated questioning.
The late stage of dementia is one in all near-total dependence and inactivity.
Is the situation treatable?
Within the case of most progressive dementias, together with Alzheimer’s illness, there is no such thing as a remedy and no therapy that stops its development. However, there are drug remedies which will briefly decelerate its development.
As soon as the neurologist has made a prognosis, he’ll advise on medicine that may assist the affected person. Dementia ensuing from infective, thyroid issues and vitamin deficiency may be reversed.