Dementia refers to a number of symptoms which impact memory, thinking and social abilities and will interfere with one’s daily life. It is the combination of several different diseases which may bring about dementia.
Although dementia is normally associated with memory loss, it does not mean that if one is indeed forgetting things, one has dementia. They are different reasons why one can have memory loss, not just dementia. One of the main reasons for dementia in senior adults is Alzheimer’s disease. Depending on the causes of dementia disease, some symptoms may be catered for and reversed.
There are several symptoms of dementia which may include cognitive changes, memory loss, difficulty in communication, reasoning, problem-solving, planning, organising and coordination. This may be followed by other serious symptoms such as changes in psychology and personality, depression, anxiety and hallucinations. Dementia is brought about by damage and loss to nerve cells which are connected to the brain. The extent to which one is impacted heavily depends on the area of the brain that is affected.
There are many factors that contribute to dementia, many of which are out of one’s control. One of which is age, and that cannot be controlled. As one grows old, particularly when nearing seventies, the risks increase. With that said, there are some cases where dementia occurs in young people. There is also the aspect of family history. If members within your family suffered from dementia, this puts you in bigger risk of developing the symptoms yourself. With that said, there are many people who have had a family history of dementia and never developed it themselves.
There are other risk factors of dementia that you can control. Such would be your diet. Although there is no specific diet which is known to reduce dementia, research suggests that those who follow a healthy diet are less likely to develop it.
Alcohol consumption is also correlated with dementia. Large amounts of alcohol are associated with higher risks of dementia. With that said, moderate amounts are rumoured to be beneficial as they reduce risk. There are also other risks such as blood pressure and cholesterol which can also increase the chances of developing dementia. The same also applies to diabetes, especially if not controlled appropriately.
Together with these risk factors, we also have smoking which increases your chances of developing dementia and blood vessel diseases. On a less permanent effect, those who suffer from sleep apnea may also develop dementia and may have reversible memory loss.
One also needs to keep certain types of vitamins at a high, including Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12 and folate, since low levels of these may increase chances of dementia.