Dementia is not always something that comes with old age. But what is dementia precisely? Dementia is not referred to as a disease. It is basically an umbrella phrase that describes a cluster of symptoms, including issues with reasoning, memory, remembering, and thinking. Some persons also display behavioral problems. Such symptoms hinder daily function. Types of dementia are:
- Parkinson’s disease alongside dementia
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
- Lewy bodily dementia
- Huntington’s disease
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Posterior cortical atrophy
- Normal-pressure hydrocephalus
Some forms of dementia are more common than others. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is frailer than dementia and result in trivial but perceptible deterioration in cognitive ability. These symptoms might be noticeable by the person’s family. It includes not remembering important dates, appointments, or conversations.
Communication and thinking skills might be influenced. Issues with sequencing, reasoning or complex problem-solving might happen. Individuals diagnosed with MCI h have a more significant risk of developing dementia. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease which is a progressive disease, getting worse with time. In most cases, an individual will need HCA.
The Genetic Constituent Of Dementia
A regular misapprehension of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia is that it is completely hereditary. When a family history of dementia exists, there may be a good chance that it could be passed down from parents to their children. However, some of the scarcer types of dementia cannot be passed down from a parent to his child. These would include Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and familial prion disease.
With these instances, the likelihood is higher for the disease being passed down from a father instead of a mother. Paternal genes are more prevalent than maternal ones. When the rarity of these cases is considered, it is more likely that if a dad is slim, tall, and has blond hair, that at least one of his kids will have the same characteristics rather than dementia.
How Do One Get Tested For Dementia And Alzheimer’s?
The process involves more elimination than determination. Physicians will administer a MOCA (Montreal Cognitive Assessment) which is a list of thirty questions. The test evaluates attention, memory, abstraction, and language. The test is utilized as a screening tool. Contingent on the score, your doctor might refer you, your parents, or your spouse for further assessment. This can include but is not restricted to:
- Ruling out other health conditions with laboratory tests.
- Interviewing your loved ones and friends.
- Testing your neuropsychological systems.
- Using MRI and/or PET scans. MRI scans evaluate if there are any unhealthy or injured tissue and organs in the body while PET scans will reveal how your body is working (e.g. locating cancer or infection).
- MMSE (mini-mental state examination). This test is similar to the MMSE, however shorter. Both tests can be effective.
Dementia is a frightening possibility; therefore, some persons will hide their symptoms, or they only go for evaluation when the disease is in its progressive state. The sooner you know, the quicker you and your family can start planning. Managing the symptoms of dementia can also enhance your quality of life.