Many people tend to mistake that dementia is an independent disease. The term dementia is used to describe a group of related symptoms associated with different disorders. It is actually a syndrome related to the reduction in brain abilities such as thinking rate, judgement, language, mental agility, undertaking among other brain functions.
In progressive dementia, the symptoms worsen with time. There are several types of dementia and the following is a list of some of them.
- Huntington’s Disease
- Vascular Dementia
- Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Mixed Dementia
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease Dementia
All the above causes of dementia are caused by damage and death of the brain nerve cells. This factors that contribute to dementia are aging, smoking, excessive use of alcohol, high cholesterol level in the body among others. Normally, when you become infected by the syndrome you lose interest in your usual activities and you may have difficulties in controlling your emotions. Also, you may lose compassion and understanding and sometimes you may find yourself judging other people wrongly.
Currently, there is no cure that can stop progressive dementia. However, early diagnosis and treatment have been proved to cause delay of progression of some of the symptoms hence reducing on their severity. There are certain medications that are normally prescribed to assist with particular symptoms of dementia like trouble sleeping. It is always recommended that immediately you realize that you, your family member of friend is experiencing early symptoms and signs of dementia, you or they should be offered to a health doctor for a cognitive test which will establish the severity level of the syndrome. After the tests, the doctor will then recommend a better idea on the treatment of the condition.
Stages of Dementia
Normally, Dementia conditions progress five main stages which are part of Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR). CDR is what mental medical professionals use to assess the level of progression of the syndrome symptoms to make an accurate diagnosis. The following are the stages involved:
First Stage – No Impairment (CDR-0)
At this level, there seems to be no impairment in the abilities of the patient. The CDR reads zero, meaning you don’t have significant memory problems and hence your judgement is normal. With the proper mind function, you understand and fully aware of everything in the world. You can identify yourself, time and where you are and therefore handle yourself and personal needs.
Second Stage – Questionable Impairment (CDR-0.5)
At this stage, there are very minimal memory impairments. This translates that you are likely undergoing slight inconsistencies with your memory and understanding. Usually, you may find it difficult to solve challenging problems and may find yourself having issues at work and other social activities. However, you are still capable of taking care of yourself without help from family members of friends.
Third Stage – Mild Impairment (CDR-1)
At his stage, the changes are mild and you become impaired both in orientation, memory, understanding, judgement. You tend to suffer short-term memory than long-term memory which starts disrupting some of your daily routine life aspects and you may start losing interest in taking care of yourself like personal hygiene.
You may also start experiencing geographical disorientation, meaning that you have difficulties in getting from one place to another because you can’t remember directions to familiar destinations.
Fourth Stage – Moderate Impairment (CDR-2)
This is the stage that you will need extra support and help from friends and families to assist you take care of yourself especially when you’re in public places. Geographical disorientation becomes worse and you are at a greater risk of getting lost. Usually, your short-term memory is lost and you can’t differentiate between people you are familiar with and those whom you’ve just met.
Fifth Stage – Severe Impairment (CDR-3)
This is actually the worst stage of dementia and you can’t totally function without assistance. It is associated with extreme memory loss and geographical disorientation, you can remember anything nor place at all. Even the people you are familiar with become strangers to you.