Dementia: The Decline of Mental Ability and Memory Loss

Dementia is the general decline of mental ability and memory loss which interferes with everyday life. Dementia involves impairment with communication, thinking and memory. Over 45 million people worldwide live with dementia. Over 5 million people in the United States have dementia. Dementia usually worsens with age. Dementia is caused by brain cell damage which interferes with brain cell communication which affects thinking, feelings and behavior.

dementia patient

Dementia Risk Factors

  • Aging (risk goes up with age)
  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Atherosclerosis – thickening of artery walls due to plaque buildup
  • High levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • High levels of homocysteine amino acid
  • Not participating in cognitively stimulating activities
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Hypertension
  • Depression
  • Sleep apnea
  • Down syndrome
  • Genetics

Dementia Symptoms

  • Recent memory loss
  • Asking questions repeatedly
  • Communication problems
  • Forgetting simple words
  • Misplacing things
  • Becoming fearful, irritable or suspicious
  • Issues with abstract thinking
  • Disorientation
  • Confusion
  • Poor judgement

Types of Dementia

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Mixed dementia
  • Normal pressure hydrocephalus
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome