Dementia Essay

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Unit DEM 301 Understand the process and experience of dementia This unit provides you with the knowledge on the neurology of dementia including the causes, difficulties and needs of the person with dementia. This will help to support your understanding of how people may experience dementia. With the development of improved health care and healthier lifestyles, people are living longer. With an increase in an ageing population come age-related conditions such as dementia. Age is not the only cause of dementia as you will discover within this unit. In this unit you will learn about: „„the neurology of dementia „„the impact of recognition and diagnosis of dementia „„how dementia care must be underpinned by a personcentred approach. 1 Level 3 Health & Social Care Diploma 1.  nderstand the neurology of dementia U 1.1 Causes of dementia The word ‘dementia’ is a term which describes a serious deterioration in mental functions, such as memory, language, orientation and judgement. However, the causes are still not yet fully understood. Research in this area is ongoing and to date a number of types of dementia and their causes have been identified. The brain is a complex organ and is divided up into different areas that control different functions within the body. The brain contains around 100 billion cells. In dementia some of these cells stop working properly. The part of the brain that this occurs in will affect how that person thinks, remembers and communicates. Senile dementia is a term that refers to dementia in people aged over 65. It is not uncommon for people under the age of 65 to develop dementia. This is known as early onset dementia. Cerebral cortex Ventricles Healthy brain Hippocampus Cortical shrinkage Moderately enlarged ventricles Mild Alzheimer’s disease Dementia is a major health condition which affects over 820,000 people in the UK.

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