Dementia: “It is a term in which mind has reached a certain, usually normal or acceptable stage of development and then shows signs of deterioration.”
Dementia manifests itself as a decline of the intellectual function of memory, comprehension, reasoning ability and emotional changes in the life of the patient.
There are three principal forms. We will discuss dementia’s signs and symptoms under these forms.
- Organic dementia
- Senile dementia
- Dementia paralytica or GPI
In all these conditions gross limitation of mental capacity is a late symptom and the early changes, as a rule, are slight. The first indication of this disease may come from a person’s inconsistent behavior detected by his near ones in different spheres of activity.
In this condition impairment of the mental faculties occur due to some lesion of the brain either localized or diffuse.
Symptoms: The early stage may be manifested by restlessness and irritability with delirium, excitement or depression. These usually finish soon and a progressive mental deterioration sets in, with marked loss of memory and confusion about time place, mistakes as to the identity and general childishness.
This form of dementia is caused by the onset of old age and cerebral arteriosclerosis.
Sign and Symptoms: There is progressive mental deterioration which sets in. The patient loses his memory, behave silly, become childish and sometimes perverted in his behavior. In this disease delusions also occur and mostly a patient relate these delusions to his security in later life, with the result he becomes suspicious all the time and even animose towards those members of the family who provide him love, care, support, and comfort.
Dementia Paralytica or GPI:
Signs and symptoms: In the early stages, the patient shows loss of interest in his daily life affairs and becomes negligent and apathetic. There is also blunting of the moral sense with the result that he may micturate in public or commits a petty theft or other immoral act. There is a loss of control of sex instinct and that may lead him to expose his genitals in the public or he may assault young girls. In later stages, impulsive outbursts of violence may also take place.
Dementia occurs when there is some damage to certain areas of the brain. These damages may result from a number of diseases and injuries. One most important disease is the Alzheimer disease, other are multiple sclerosis, Parkinson disease, Huntington disease, stroke, progressive supranuclear palsy, thiamine deficiency, chronic drug and alcohol abuse and due to some viral infection of the brain.
All forms of dementia show memory disorders as well and important cognitive function deterioration.
There are no such particular tests done to make a diagnosis of dementia. Complete history and examination are helpful along with CT scan or MRI, which can tell about damage area of the brain.
This includes treating those diseases which have to lead to this condition. A certain medication is also helpful like mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, stimulants and some anxiolytics drugs. Also, some brain supplements are good to prevent brain diseases.
Amna Sheikh is a medical doctor with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Bachelors in Economics and Statistics. She is also a medical writer working as a freelancer for 10+ years and she is specialized in medical, health, and pharmaceutical writing, regulatory writing & clinical research. All her work is supported by a strong academic and professional experience.