Unit 316 Understanding the Process and Experience of Dementia

2323 Words10 Pages
There are many diseases and medical conditions which cause dementia. Due to this a patient diagnosed with dementia could be suffering from one or more of the diseases which can cause dementia, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, vascular dementia, fronto-temporal dementia, or mixed dementia. There are said to be around a hundred causes of dementia. Though most types of dementia are irreversible, there are several reversible causes of dementia, and recognizing and treating the underlying cause will reverse symptoms. One very common reversible cause of dementia is depression . A reaction to medication/ side-effect of medication/ toxic build up of medication is another common cause. Some medications affect the levels of neurotransmitters and can produce dementia-like symptoms. Well-known causes of reversible dementia include hypothyroidism, infections, and vitamin B12 deficiency. Electrolyte imbalance may be confused with dementia, as can dehydration or poor nutrition. Fluctuating blood sugars may also be confused with dementia. Hearing loss or poor vision may make the person seem less responsive and seem like dementia. Other more uncommon causes, include normal pressure hydrocephalus, where relief may be possible if surgical insertion of a shunt can drain the excess fluid build up. Less commonly noticed causes include apparently unrelated problems like celiac disease, which some studies show as a possible cause for dementia-like symptoms. It is also possible that some disease with symptoms similar to neurodegenerative diseases gets misdiagnosed as dementia e.g., Lyme’s disease. In most dementia cases, the underlying disease can not be cured. Also, most irreversible dementias are also progressive, the disease progresses and the patient’s brain function declines until the patient is bed-ridden and fully dependent. Alzheimer’s Disease, the most common cause of

More about Unit 316 Understanding the Process and Experience of Dementia

Open Document