Dementia is a health condition that affects mainly people in their latter years. It involves the gradual loss of mental ability, which results in the loss of memory, changes in personality and ultimately a loss of social ability. Dementia can be broadly defined in layman's terms as a condition where there is a deterioration of the brain capacity leading to intellectual impairment. However, it is important to state here that dementia is not a normal part of growing old and it is correct to state that to suffer this condition is unfortunate. This notwithstanding, it is the rise in the number of occurrence that is a cause for concern and the reason for this article.
There are a lot of conditions that predispose people to dementia especially conditions that bring about a level of damage to thinking, memory, reasoning and language, these includes diseases like Alzheimer's or meningitis; things like brain tumor which causes pressure to the brain, or a lack of blood and oxygen supply to the brain caused by conditions like stroke, sustained head injuries could also lead to dementia latter in life.
Dementia is regarded as an old age condition because most of the sufferers are age over 60 becoming more common and prevalent with advance in age, about six people in 100 develop dementia over age 65 and the number rises to a staggering 20 in 100 for people over age 85 with the chances of developing it when under age 65 are as low as 1 in 1,000.
Dementia might occur as a result of the presence of different diseases and conditions such as Alzheimer's, Pick's disease or simply aging. The persistence of the following conditions can also lead to dementia e.g. depression, anxiety, anemia, and infections such as syphilis and AIDS, vitamin deficiencies, and hypothyroidism.
It is very important to distinguish between impaired memory and age related memory difficulties. This could be very difficult to carry out without appropriate memory tests. While age related memory loss is simply due to loss of memory neurons (brain cells) meaning they just grow old and weak, memory impairment is a destruction of these cells without aging due to disease.
When detected early dementia can be slowed down allowing the patient to kind of slowly adjust and with the help of family and friends the stress and frustration that accompany it would be lighter.