Dementia describes a state in which the normal functions of the brain, such as memory, abstract thinking and analysis become impaired. It can occur from many different types of diseases. The diseases that produce this disorder can affect the environment of the brain cells, they can affect the blood or oxygen supply to the brain cells or they can affect the brain cells, themselves.
Causes of Dementia
Dementia develops from a variety of disorders. These include diseases that lead to loss of brain cells or damaged brain cells, such as Alzheimer's disease. Decreased blood flow to the brain from atherosclerosis or repeated strokes can lead to dementia. Severe or repeated head injuries will eventually lead to gradual dysfunction of the brain, often varcharacterized by dementia. Brain tumors, especially those of the frontal lobes, can lead to behavior changes, confusion, and memory problems. Diseases such as AIDS can lead to direct infection of the brain or to diffuse, opportunistic infections that gradually and severely affect brain function. Parkinson's disease, which produces problems with movements, has as one of its major symptoms the development of signs and symptoms of dementia. Some hereditary disorders, such as Huntington's chorea, also produce dementia. Hypothyroidism, central nervous system involvement with syphilis, hydrocephalus, vitamin B deficiency and some medications can also lead to the development of dementia.
Signs and Symptoms of Dementia
Symptoms of dementia include progressive problems with memory function, especially short term. Changes in behavior can occur, usually producing violent or belligerent behavior. Confusion and disorientation may occur. Loss of interest in normal activities often occurs in conjunction with depression. Poor personal hygiene is couples with lack of concern for personal appearance. Sleep disturbances, poor judgment and incontinence develop.
Find more information
Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
The information contained on this site is for the sole purpose of
being informative. This information is not and should not be used or relied upon as medical
advice. Always seek the advice of your physician, nurse
Or other qualified health care provider before you undergo any treatment or
for answers to any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
If you believe you have a medical emergency, please discontinue use
of MyElectronicMD and call 911 now.
Nothing contained on or provided through the service is intended to be or is
to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.
Your use of this site is subject to certain terms and conditions.