The Facts About Dementia gave me this crazy idea about writing articles about Dementia. I wrote a few but then I started worrying about running out of material to write. Do I have all that material in my head, I asked myself. Then I started doing a little research online and was pleasantly surprised to find that there is a wealth of information out there. I am happy to know that there are people and organizations that are also committed to improving the awareness and understanding of Dementia.
Great! The wheel has already been invented, there is absolutely no reason for me to start working on re-inventing the wheel. I just have to give credit to those that have done the great work of providing The Facts About Dementia.
Since my goal is to write about Dementia, it would only be fitting to start by telling you How some expert defined Dementia. I will also touch briefly on Statistics on Dementia, the types of Dementia, and take a brief look at Dementia vs Alzheimer’s.
What is Dementia?
The Dictionary describes Dementia as, “A chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury, and marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and impaired reasoning.
The Alzheimer’s Organization (ALZ.org) writes, Dementia is not a specific disease. It is an overall term that describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.
The National Institutes Of Health defines Dementia as a loss of cognitive functioning- thinking, remembering and reasoning- and behavior abilities to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities.
The Mayo Clinic writes, Dementia isn’t a specific disease. Instead, Dementia describes a group of symptoms affecting Memory, thinking and social abilities severely enough to interfere with daily functioning.
WebMD also writes, Dementia itself is not a disease, but a syndrome. A progressive and sometimes chronic condition that causes problems with thinking, behavior, and memory.
Medical News Today’s Article, December 1, 2017, says, Dementia is not a single condition, but a term that describes symptoms of impairment in memory, communication, and thinking.
Wikipedia sees Dementia as a broad category of brain diseases that cause a long term and often gradual decrease in the ability to think and remember that is great enough to affect a person’s daily functioning.
Medline Plus – Dementia is the name for a group of symptoms caused by disorders that affect the brain. It is not a specific disease.
Dementia Society of America provides a broad factual definition from the US Government. Dementia is not a specific disease. It is a descriptive term for a collection of symptoms that can be caused by a number of disorders that affects the brain. People with Dementia have significantly impaired intellectual functioning that interferes with normal activities and relationships.
And of course, The World Health Organization. Dementia is a syndrome, usually of chronic or progressive nature, caused by a variety of brain illnesses that affects memory, thinking behavior, and the ability to perform everyday activities.
Statistics on Dementia
According to the World Health Organization, there can be as many as 50 million people currently, living with Dementia around the World. It is believed that a new case of Dementia is diagnosed every three seconds. Without a cure, this number is expected to grow to 82 million by 2030 and as many as 152 million by 2050.
East Asia is believed to be the region with the most people living with Dementia, approximately 9.8 million, followed by Western Europe 7.5 million, South Asia 5.1 million, North America 4.8 million.
ARUK Dementia Statistics, reports that there are 850,000 people in the UK with Dementia. It is believed that the number will increase to over one million by 2025 and over two million by 2050.
Researchers believed that one in three people born in the UK this year will develop Dementia in their lifetime. Content goes here. According to BRIGHTFOCUS Foundation, the US will add as many as 500,000 cases yearly at the alarming rate of about one case every 65 seconds. I recently saw an AARP article “Disrupt Dementia” The coming Dementia Tsunami
Types of Dementia
Currently, there are ten types of Dementia.
Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus
Lewy Body Dementia
The types of Dementia will be revisited at a later date.
Dementia vs Alzheimer’s
Many of us in health care, at some time, will use the words Dementia and Alzheimer’s, interchangeably. Looking above at the various definitions of Dementia, one must conclude that Dementia is not a specific disease. It is a term used to describe a collection of symptoms. Alzheimer’s, on the other hand, is a specific disease. Alzheimer’s is believed to be the most common type of Dementia.
One important fact about Dementia, NOT EVERYONE WITH DEMENTIA HAS ALZHEIMER’S. Another important fact about Dementia; Some type of Dementia are reversible. A person can have a Vitamin Deficiency that may cause him or her to experience symptoms of Dementia. Another person may have a reaction to a drug which again can cause him or her to have symptoms of Dementia
Alzheimer’s, on the other hand, is a degenerative disease, over time, the disease will get progressively worse. Eventually, the symptoms of both Alzheimer’s and Dementia will overlap
Looking at, and comparing the definitions provided, one can conclude that Dementia is a very complex illness caused by a collection of diseases that affect brain function.
One chilling Fact About Dementia is there is no cure. The first disorder of this kind was discovered in 1906 by a female physician named Alois Alzheimer. It has been more than a century of dealing with this dreadful
disease we still don’t have the answers. There are a number of
treatments, various therapies, and medications that have been tried.
Some of these treatments, therapies, and medication, either in
a combination with each other or by themselves, in some cases will be able
to slow the disease process.
Dementia is now in the top ten, it is the 7th leading cause of death.