What is Dementia?
- Dementias are chronic, irreversible brain disorder characterized by impairment in memory, abstract thinking and judgment, as well as changes in personality. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Risk factors of being over the age of 65, having a family history, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and severe head injury.
Signs that may point to dementia include:
- Getting lost in a familiar neighbourhood
- Using unusual words to refer to familiar objects
- Forgetting the name of a close family member or friend
- Forgetting old memories
- Not being able to complete tasks independently
How is dementia diagnosed?
- A healthcare provider can perform tests on attention, memory, problem solving and other cognitive abilities to see if there is cause for concern. A physical exam, blood tests, and brain scans like a CT or MRI can help determine an underlying cause.
How is dementia treated?
- Treatment of dementia depends on the underlying cause. Neurodegenerative dementias, like Alzheimer’s disease, have no cure, though there are medications that can help protect the brain or manage symptoms such as anxiety or behaviour changes.