Senile Dementia – What is it, Symptoms and Treatments of this condition. In addition, Senile Dementia is a disease caused by the degeneration of brain cells. It is different from normal senility in the elderly in that the patient’s brain function will gradually deteriorate, resulting in progressive loss of memory and mental abilities and visible changes in personality.
In the past , the term Senile Dementia was used as a synonym for madness, and two large groups of dementias were distinguished: organic and vesania (with no apparent organic cause).
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Currently, only disorders produced by anatomically demonstrable brain tissue lesions are called dementia ; the dementias formerly called vesanic are now called psychosis.
Causes of Senile Dementia: Senile Dementia is always caused by an underlying disease or condition. Brain tissueis damaged and functioning is reduced. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease , a progressive brain disordercausing deterioration in memory and thought processes.
The causes of Senile Dementia include:
- Alzheimer’s disease ;
- Vascular dementia , the second most common cause of dementia , accounting for up to 20% of all dementias;
- Huntington’s disease, a progressive degenerative disease that causes dance-like movements and mental deterioration;
- Atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries;
- Multiple sclerosis, a disorder of the sheath that lines the brain and spinal cord;
- HIV, the immunodeficiency disorder that leads to AIDS;
- Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative disorder of part of the nervous system;
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a rapidly progressing degenerative disorder of the nervous system causing problems with walking, speaking, and the senses;
- Pick’s disease, a brain disorder that causes progressive dementia ;
- Viral or bacterial encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain ;
- Lewy body disease, a degenerative disease of the nervous system;
- Normal pressure hydrocephalus, or increased cerebrospinal fluid in the brain ;
- Chronic subdural hematoma or bleeding between the brain lining and brain tissue ;
- brain tumor ;
- Wilson’s disease, a rare disease that causes a buildup of copper in the liver, brain , kidneys, and corneas;
- Neurosyphilis, an infection of the nervous system by the syphilis bacteria, which causes weakness and mental deterioration;
- Progressive supranuclear palsy, also known as Steele-Richardson-Olszewski syndrome, a rare disorder of late middle age that causes widespread neurological problems.
Certain abnormalities of a person’s metabolism or hormones may also be responsible for the development of dementia , including the following:
Symptoms of Senile Dementia: Senile Dementia can be defined as a syndrome determined by deterioration of intellectual capacity, being intense enough to compromise the execution of the individual’s activities of daily living, as well as influencing his independence.
Currently, the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA, 2013) groups the cases of Senile Dementia under the classification of Neurocognitive Disorders. Dementia can be subdivided into two groups: those with reversible causes and those of irreversible origin.
Diagnoses of Senile Dementia: There is no test to determine if someone has Senile Dementia . Doctors diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia based on a careful medical history, a physical exam, laboratory tests, and the characteristic changes in day-to-day thinking, function, and behavior associated with each type.
Doctors can determine that a person has dementia with a high level of certainty. But determining the exact type of dementia is more difficult because the symptoms and brain changes of different dementias can overlap. In some cases, a doctor may diagnose “dementia” and not specify a type. If this occurs, it may be necessary to consult a specialist, such as a neurologist or a gero-psychologist.
Treatments For Senile Dementia: Treatment for senile dementia includes early stage medications such as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, or neuroleptics. Professionals also indicate physiotherapy and occupational therapy treatments, as well as the provision of adequate guidance to the family and caregivers.
Currently, the most indicated for the treatment of Senile Dementia is that the patient remains in a favorable and familiar environment, making him stay active, participating as much as possible in daily activities and communication, in order to preserve the abilities of the individual.
Preventing Senile Dementia: While there is no way to absolutely prevent the development of Senile Dementia , different activities have been identified that can decrease the risk. These include maintaining optimal health, including normal blood pressure, normal cholesterol and normal blood sugars.
Staying physically active, avoiding tobacco consumption or excessive alcohol consumption, maintaining a healthy weight and preventing head injuries are also recommended.