Brief introduction to dementia

Sometimes we need to give people we meet a very quick and compact introduction on dementia. This one-page document is intended for such a situation.

Download the document here: Introduction to Dementia (PDF file).

An excerpt:

What is dementia: Dementia is a general term used for loss of brain functions that affect the ability to live. In addition to causing memory loss, dementia affects thinking, speaking, and making decisions. It interferes with activities of daily living. Behavioral changes include insomnia, wandering, apathy, and aggression.

Types of dementia: The main cause of dementia is that cells in the brain die, or do not function properly, and the brain shrinks. Most dementias are non-reversible (changes in the brain that are causing dementia cannot be stopped or turned back). Alzheimer’s Disease accounts for most irreversible dementias. Vascular diseases related to hypertension and stress, Parkinsonian Dementia, and Fronto-Temporal Dementia are other irreversible causes. Dementia caused by some problems (e.g., vitamin B12 deficiency, hypothyroidism, and depression) may get reversed on treatment.

Who gets dementia: Dementia knows no social, economic, ethnic or geographic boundaries. Increasing age is the biggest risk factor, and typical onset is after the age of sixty. Worldwide, one new case of dementia is seen every seven seconds. India’s current dementia population is estimated (in 2010) as 3.7 million.

Symptoms of dementia:….

Download the document here: Introduction to Dementia (PDF file).