Dementia – what is it for the disease, the causes,symptoms, types and prevention

Dementia is a persistent violation of higher nervous activity,
accompanied by the loss of acquired knowledge and skills and a decrease in
ability to learn. Currently in the world there are
over 35 million patients suffering
dementia. Develops as a result of brain damage, on the background
what happens is a marked breakdown of mental functions that
Generally allows to distinguish this disease from mental
retardation, congenital or acquired form of dementia.

Что это за заболевание, почему деменция чаще возникает в
older age and what are the symptoms and first signs
characteristic of her – let’s look further.

Dementia – what is this disease?


Dementia is insanity, manifested in the breakdown of mental
functions, which occurs due to brain damage. Disease
must be differentiated from oligophrenia – congenital or
acquired infant dementia, which is
underdevelopment of the psyche.

With dementia, patients are not capable of realizing that
happens, the disease literally “erases” all of their
the memory that accumulated in it during the previous years
of life.

Manifesting dementia syndrome is multifaceted. These are speech disorders,
logic, memory, unreasonable depressive states. People,
suffering from dementia, forced to leave work because they need
in constant treatment and supervision. Disease меняет жизнь не
only the patient, but also his relatives.

Depending on the extent of the disease, its symptoms and patient response
expressed in different ways:

  • With mild dementia, he is critical of his
    able and takes care of himself.
  • With a moderate degree of damage there is a decrease in intelligence.
    and difficulties in domestic behavior.
  • Severe dementia – что это такое? Syndrome means complete
    disintegration of personality when an adult cannot even
    self help and food.


Given the predominant lesion of certain areas of the brain
There are four types of dementia:

  1. Корковая деменция. Suffering mainly bark large
    hemispheres. Observed with alcoholism, Alzheimer’s disease.
    и болезни Пика (лобно-височной деменции).
  2. Подкорковая деменция. Subcortical structures suffer.
    Accompanied by neurological disorders (trembling of the limbs,
    stiffness of muscles, gait disorders, etc.). Arises
    при болезни Паркинсона, болезни Хантингтона и кровоизлияниях в
    white matter.
  3. Cortical-subcortical dementia is a mixed type of lesion,
    characteristic of the pathology caused by vascular disorders.
  4. Multifocal dementia is a pathology characterized by
    multiple lesions in all parts of the central
    nervous system.

Senile dementia

Senile (senile) dementia (dementia) is a pronounced
dementia manifested at the age of 65 years and older. Disease more often
Mostly caused by the rapid atrophy of the cells of the cerebral cortex. AT
first of all, the patient slows down the reaction rate, mental
activity and short-term memory deteriorates.

Psychological changes that develop with senile dementia,
associated with irreversible changes in the brain.

  1. These changes occur at the cellular level, due to lack of
    power die neurons. This condition is called primary.
  2. AT случае если есть заболевание, из-за которого пострадала
    the nervous system, the disease is called secondary. To such diseases
    относятся болезнь Альцгеймера, болезнь Гентингтона,
    spastic pseudosclerosis (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease), etc.

Senile dementia, being in the number of mental illnesses,
is the most common disease among the elderly.
Senile dementia у женщин встречается практически в три раза
more often compared with exposure to her men. AT большинстве
cases the age of patients is 65-75 years, on average in women
the disease develops at age 75, in men, at age 74.

Vascular dementia

By vascular dementia is a violation of mental acts,
which is caused by problems of blood circulation in the vessels of the head
the brain. At the same time, such violations significantly affect
the lifestyle of the patient, his activity in society.

This form of the disease usually occurs after a stroke.
or heart attack. Vascular dementia – что это такое? It is a whole
a complex of symptoms that are characterized by deterioration
human behavioral and mental abilities after the defeat
сосудов головного the brain. When mixed vascular dementia prognosis
most unfavorable since it affects several
pathological processes.

In this case, as a rule, separately consider dementia,
developed after vascular accidents, such as:

  • Hemorrhagic stroke (rupture of the vessel).
  • Ischemic stroke (blockage of the vessel with the termination or
    deterioration of blood circulation in a certain area).

Most often, vascular dementia occurs with atherosclerosis and
hypertension, less often – with severe diabetes and
some rheumatic diseases, even less – with emboli and
thrombosis due to skeletal injuries, increased clotting
blood and diseases of peripheral veins.

Elderly patients should control their
major diseases that can cause dementia. To them

  • hypertension or hypotension
  • atherosclerosis,
  • ischemia
  • arrhythmias,
  • diabetes, etc.

Dementia contributes to a sedentary lifestyle, lack
oxygen habits.

Alzheimer’s type dementia

The most common type of dementia. She refers to
organic dementia (a group of dementive syndromes that develop
amid organic changes in the brain such as
cerebral vascular disease, traumatic brain injury, senile or
syphilitic psychosis).

In addition, this disease is quite closely intertwined with
types of dementia with Levi’s Taurus (a syndrome in which cell death
the brain is due to Levi’s corpuscles forming in neurons), having with
There are many common symptoms.

Dementia in children

The development of dementia is associated with the effect on the child’s body.
various factors that can cause disturbances in the functioning
головного the brain. Sometimes the disease is present from the birth of the baby,
but manifests itself as the child grows.

Children emit:

  • residual organic dementia,
  • progressing.

These species are divided according to the nature of the pathogenetic
mechanisms. With meningitis can
появиться резидуально-органическая форма, она же возникает при
significant traumatic brain injuries, and CNS poisoning

Progressive type is considered an independent disease,
which may be part of the structure
наследственно-дегенеративных пороков и заболеваний ЦНС, а
также поражений сосудов головного the brain.

With dementia, a child may develop a depressive state.
Чаще всего, это свойственно ранним стадиям diseases.
Progressive disease impairs mental and physical
children’s abilities. If you don’t work on slowing down the disease,
a child may lose a significant part of their skills, including

For any type of dementia, relatives, family members, and household members should
understanding treat the patient. ATедь он не виноват, что вытворяет
sometimes inadequate things, it makes the disease. We ourselves should
think about preventive measures so that the disease does not
struck us.

The reasons

After 20 years, the human brain begins to lose nerve
cells Therefore, small problems with short-term memory for
older people are quite normal. Man can forget where he is
put the keys to the car, what is the name of the person with whom he
Away introduced a month ago.

Such age-related changes occur in all. Usually they do not
приводят к проблемам в повседневной of life. With dementia
disorders are much more pronounced.

The most common causes of dementia are:

  • Alzheimer’s disease (up to 65% of all cases);
  • arterial atherosclerosis
    hypertension, impaired circulation and blood properties;
  • alcohol abuse and addiction;
  • Parkinson’s disease;
  • Pick’s disease;
  • traumatic brain injury;
  • endocrine diseases (problems with thyroid
    железой, синдром Кушинга);
  • autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis, red
  • infections (AIDS, chronic meningitis, encephalitis, etc.);
  • diabetes;
  • severe diseases of internal organs;
  • a consequence of hemodialysis complication (blood purification),
  • severe renal or hepatic impairment.

AT некоторых случаях деменция развивается в результате
effects of several reasons. A classic example of such
pathologies are senile (senile) mixed dementia.

Risk factors include:

  • age over 65 years;
  • hypertension;
  • elevated blood lipids;
  • obesity of any degree;
  • lack of physical activity;
  • lack of intellectual activity for a long time
    (from 3 years);
  • low estrogen levels (applies only to the female sex) and

First signs

First signs деменции – сужение кругозора и личных интересов,
изменение характера the patient. Patients develop aggression,
anger, anxiety, apathy. The person becomes impulsive and

First signs на которые нужно обязательно обратить

  • The first symptom of any typology is a disorder.
    a memory that progresses rapidly.
  • The reactions of the individual to the surrounding reality become
    irritable, impulsive.
  • Human behavior is filled with regression: rigidity
    (cruelty), stereotype, sloppiness.
  • Patients stop washing and dressing, broken
    professional memory.

These symptoms rarely signal to others about impending
diseases, they are blamed on the prevailing circumstances or on the bad


AT соответствии с возможностями социальной адаптации больного,
there are three degrees of dementia. AT тех случаях, когда заболевание,
caused dementia, has a steadily progressive course,
often talk about the stage of dementia.


Disease развивается постепенно, поэтому больные и их
relatives often do not notice him symptoms and do not turn on time
to the doctor.

The mild stage is characterized by significant disturbances.
intellectual sphere, however, the critical attitude of the patient to
own state is saved. Sick can live
independently, as well as perform domestic activities.


Moderate стадия отмечается присутствием более грубых
intellectual disabilities and reduced critical perception
diseases. Patients have difficulty using
household appliances (washing machine, stove, TV), and
door locks, telephone, snaps.

Severe dementia

At this stage, the patient is almost completely dependent on loved ones.
and needs constant care.


  • complete loss of orientation in time and space;
  • it is difficult for a patient to recognize relatives, friends;
  • requires constant care, in the late stages the patient cannot
    he himself has and perform the simplest hygienic procedures;
  • increasing behavioral disorders, the patient may become

Symptoms of dementia

Dementia is characterized by its manifestation simultaneously with many
parties: changes occur in speech, memory, thinking, attention
the patient. These and other functions of the body are violated.
relatively evenly. Even the initial stage of dementia
characterized by very significant irregularities
affects the person as a person and professional.

In a state of dementia a person not only loses the ability
exercise previously acquired skills, but also loses the ability
get new skills.


  1. Memory problems It all starts with forgetfulness: man
    does not remember where he put this or that thing, what he only
    that said what was happening five minutes ago (fixation
    amnesia). In this case, the patient remembers in full detail what was
    many years ago, both in his life and in politics. What if
    forgot something, almost involuntarily starts to include fragments
  2. Thinking disorders. There is a slow pace of thinking,
    as well as reduced ability to think logically and
    abstraction. Patients lose the ability to generalize and
    problem solving. Their speech is thorough and stereotypical,
    there is its scarcity, and as the disease progresses, it
    none at all. Dementia is also characterized by possible
    the emergence of delusions in patients, often with absurd and
    their primitive content.
  3. Speech At first it becomes difficult to choose the right words, then
    There may be a “stuck” on the same words. In more
    in later cases, speech becomes intermittent, sentences are not
    are running out. With good hearing does not understand the speech addressed to

Characteristic cognitive disorders include:

  • memory impairment, forgetfulness (most often noticed by close
    patient people);
  • difficulties in communication (for example, problems with the selection of words and
  • obvious deterioration in the ability to solve logical problems;
  • problems with making decisions and planning their actions
  • lack of coordination (unsteadiness of gait, falling);
  • movement disorders (movement inaccuracy);
  • disorientation in space;
  • disturbance of consciousness.

Psychological disorders:

  • depression, depressed state;
  • unmotivated feeling of anxiety or fear;
  • personality changes;
  • behavior unacceptable in society (permanent or
  • pathological arousal;
  • paranoid delusions (experiences);
  • hallucinations (visual, auditory, etc.).

Psychoses – hallucinations, manic states or
паранойя — возникают приблизительно у 10 % больных с
dementia, although in a significant percentage of patients the occurrence of these
The symptoms are temporary.


Normal brain image (left) and dementia (right)

Manifestations of dementia are treated by a neurologist. Patients also advises
cardiologist. If severe mental disorders occur,
need the help of a psychiatrist. Often these patients are in
psychiatric boarding schools.

The patient must undergo a comprehensive examination, in which

  • conversation with a psychologist and, if required, with a psychiatrist;
  • dementia tests (a brief scale for assessing mental status,
    �”FAB”, “BLD” and others) electroencephalography
  • instrumental diagnosis (blood tests for HIV,
    syphilis, thyroid hormone levels
    glands; электроэнцефалография, КТ и МРТ
    головного мозга и другие).

When making a diagnosis, the doctor considers that patients with dementia
very rarely can adequately assess their condition and are not inclined
celebrate the degradation of one’s own mind. The only exceptions are
patients with dementia in the early stages. Therefore own
assessment of the patient’s condition cannot be decisive for


Currently, most varieties of dementia are considered
incurable. However, therapeutic techniques have been developed.
allowing to control a significant part of the manifestations of this

A disease completely changes a person’s character and desire,
therefore, one of the main components of therapy is harmony in
family and in relation to close people. In any age is needed
help and support, sympathy for loved ones. If the situation around
the patient is unfavorable then make any progress and
Improving the condition is very hard.

When prescribing drugs you need to remember about
rules that must be followed in order not to harm
patient health:

  • All medicines have their own side effects.
    be sure to consider.
  • The patient will need help and supervision for regular and
    timely taking medication.
  • The same drug may act differently on different
    stages, therefore therapy needs periodic correction.
  • Many of the drugs can be dangerous if taken in
    large quantities.
  • Individual drugs may not be well combined with each other.

Patients with dementia are under-trained, they are difficult to be interested in new,
to compensate for lost skills. Important in the treatment
understand that this is an irreversible disease, that is, incurable.
Therefore, there is a question about the patient’s adaptation to life, as well as
quality care for him. Many devote a certain segment
time care for the sick, looking for nurses, dismissed from work.

Prognosis for people with dementia

Dementia usually has a progressive course. However pace
(speed) of progression varies widely and depends
from a number of reasons. Dementia shortens expected duration
life, but the assessment of survival varies.

Safety Provisions Providing
relevant environmental conditions of existence are
extremely important in treatment, as well as help
guardian. Some medications may be


In order to prevent the occurrence of this pathological
conditions, doctors recommend prevention. What for
Do you need this?

  • Observe a healthy lifestyle.
  • Give up bad habits: smoking and alcohol.
  • Monitor cholesterol levels.
  • Eat well.
  • Monitor blood sugar levels.
  • Timely engage in the treatment of emerging diseases.
  • Take time to intellectual pursuits (reading, solving
    crosswords and so on).

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