Ψ Dementia: irreversible loss of intellectual functioning caused by organic brain damage or disease.
Dementia is chronic unlike delirium, which refers to acute, severe memory loss & confusion that disappears in a short time.
Dementia: Traditional diagnostic divisions:
• Presenile dementia: dementia before age 60.
• Senile dementia: dementia after age 60.
- Most common form of dementia
- Characterized by abnormalities in the brain that destroys normal brain function.
- Causes: Environmental, Genetic, Pathological
1st: Absentmindedness of recent events.
2nd: Confusion becomes more pronounced.
3rd: Memory loss becomes truly dangerous
4th: Patient can no longer function without assistance.
5th: Patient is mute and non-communicative
Final: Death normally occurs 10-15 years after stage one.
Multi-Infarct Dementia: MID
- Dementia characterized by sporadic & progressive loss of intellectual function
- Caused by repeated infarcts (strokes), temporary obstructions of the blood vessels that prevent sufficient blood from reaching the brain.
- Produces blurred visions, shaky limbs, slurred speech and mental confusion.
- Often the infarct is so slight that people are unaware what has happened.
- Arteriosclerosis ( hardening of the arteries ).
- Poor circulation.
- Exercise and a good diet lessen the possibilities of occurrence and also promote a quicker recovery.
- Multiple infarcts can produce an Alzheimer’s like condition.
Ψ Causes a progressive loss of motor control but initially leaves the mental processes intact.
Examples: Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, & Multiple Sclerosis.
More information on Huntington's Disease.
Ψ This is a dementia that is related to a physical illness. Initially the patient has full command of their faculties.
Causes: Outside causal situation, patient initially does not have a physical or mental cause that would manifest as a dementia.
• Side effects of a medication.
• Alcohol abuse.
• Mental illness.
• Head trauma.
- Most dementia patients go untreated because dementia is wrongfully considered a natural part of aging.
- Dementia patients are often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed resulting in either no medical attention or the wrong type of medical attention.