What are the signs and symptoms of Dementia ?
Symptoms can vary in severity (mild, moderate, and severe dementia) and these symptoms may present differently in different people. Dementia is a slow progressing process that lasts more than six months. Most dementia diseases (primary dementia) cannot be cured.
These diseases include:
Alzheimer’s disease: It is the most common form and cause of dementia with a rate of 60%. In Alzheimer’s disease, nerve cells in the brain continue to die. Deposits (amyloid plaques) and clumps (neurofibrillary tangles) in the patient’s brain can be recognized under the microscope.
Vascular dementia: The cause is circulatory disorders in the brain. Due to the constriction or constipation of the blood vessels, the nerve cells start not being fed adequately. Minor brain hemorrhages occur, causing permanent damage to brain cells.
Less common dementia diseases such as frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and Lewy body dementia (LBD).
There are other reasons for mental performance decrease in 10% of the patients. These causes may include: metabolic disorders (eg underactive thyroid gland), tumors, deficiencies (vitamin, folic acid deficiencies, etc.) or unwanted side effects of medications. Acute depression can also trigger symptoms similar to dementia symptoms. Symptoms disappear when treated in a timely manner. A definitive diagnosis must be made to rule out possible treatable diseases.