What is dementia?

Dementia is a group of brain diseases in which there is a slow and progressive decline in mental function, including memory, thinking, judgment, the ability to learn, attention, problem solving, and the ability to drink. decisions. This deterioration reduces the person's ability to carry out their daily activities.

The most common types include:

  1. Alzheimer disease: It is the most common cause of dementia, responsible for 60 to 80 percent of cases. It is a progressive and irreversible disorder in which brain cells slowly die over time. It is characterized by the progressive loss of memory and a progressive deterioration of the basic activities of daily life, accompanied by changes in behavior. The most important known risk factor is increasing age, most people with Alzheimer's disease are older than 65 years. Other risk factors include: being a woman, having first degree relatives with dementia due to Alzheimer's disease, the presence of other diseases (diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, cerebrovascular disease), among others.
  1. Vascular dementia- Occurs when parts of the brain don't get enough blood. This can happen when blood vessels in the brain become blocked with blood clots or damaged by high blood pressure or aging. It is more common among people who have had strokes or are at risk for strokes.
  1. Parkinson's disease dementia: Parkinson's disease is a brain disorder that affects movement. It causes tremors, stiffness and slowness. As Parkinson's disease worsens, some people develop dementia.


  1. Other causes of dementia- Dementia can also occur if a person's brain is injured. For example, having head injuries. On the other hand, it is important to consider the presence of medical situations that can be reversible such as:
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Alcoholism
  • Low calcium levels

Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection, among others.

Symptoms of dementia often start out very mild and slowly get worse. It is characterized by:

  • Forgetfulness of entire events

  • Inability to remember effectively

  • Losing things frequently or putting them in unusual places

  • Difficulty memorizing the date

  • Difficulty initiating conversation

  • Demotivation

  • Low spirits, sadness, disinterest, irritability, and impulsiveness

  • Sleep disorders and apathy

  • Psychosis
  • Disinhibition
  • Apathy, agitation, and aggressiveness
  • Loss of sphincter control
  • Eating disorders
  • Loss of autonomy and independence and of facial expression.

A doctor should be consulted if you think you or someone close to you is showing signs of dementia. Sometimes memory loss and confusion are caused by medical problems other than dementia that can be treated.

The doctor will decide which tests to have. The tests that are most useful are those that analyze the answer to questions and the elaboration of certain tasks. An imaging study (either a CT scan or MRI) may be ordered to rule out that the symptoms are not caused by a problem not related to dementia.

That depends on the type of dementia. In the case of Alzheimer's disease, there are medications that can help. In the case of vascular dementia, your doctor will focus on keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol as normal as possible. Doing so can help reduce further damage to the brain.

There are no proven ways to prevent dementia. But here are some things that seem to help keep your brain healthy:

  • Physical activity
  • A healthy diet
  • Social interaction


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