Examining the Causes of Dementia

Dementia is something that affects all kinds of Americans, each and every year. The loss of memory affects not just the person who has dementia but all those around them. The good news is that according to recent statistics from 2016, the US dementia rates have decreased by 24%, which is huge. There is still a long way to go in the fight though, both in understanding what dementia is, how to diagnose it, and effective treatment options.

One of the most common questions people have about dementia is what causes it in the first place. So, let’s take a closer look.

Damage to the Brain's Nerve Cells

A person who is suffering from dementia has damage to the nerve cells contained in the brain. This can happen in a few different areas of the brain or just one. Where the damage exists will determine how it affects the person symptom-wise. Dementia tends to get worse or progress over time, but this isn't the case in all patients.

If dementia has happened due to a vitamin deficiency or a bad reaction to a medicine, then there is a chance that treatment can be used to improve the person's health. Within the umbrella term of dementia, there are different types. The ones that can't be reversed are Lewy body dementia, Alzheimer's, frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia, and mixed dementia.

There are some diseases that have also been linked to dementia. These diseases are Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and a traumatic brain injury that is brought on by repetitive head trauma (more commonly seen in athletes such as boxers and football players).

Risk Factors That Can Lead to Dementia

Besides the causes discussed above, a person can possess risk factors that will increase their odds of developing dementia. These risk factors include mild cognitive impairment, Downs syndrome, a family history of dementia, and age (over the age of 65). While these risk factors are out of a person's control, there are other risk factors that you do have control over. These include smoking, diabetes, depression, and heavy use of alcohol.

A Link with Marriage?

Another possible link that the medical community is now looking into is concerning dementia and marriage. As published on the utahpeoplespost.com website, a study has now shown that those who have a happy marriage have a lower risk of going on to develop dementia. Meanwhile, the study shows those who are divorced or who have never been married are at higher risk of developing it. The study was published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry and takes a look at over 800,000 participants from America, Europe, and Asia.

Much to Be Learned Still

While doctors have come a long way in understanding the causes of dementia and how to best treat it, there is still a lot of research and a lot of progress to be made. There is still plenty of hope that this often-debilitating disease may one day have a cure or at least a very effective treatment option.

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1 comment:

  1. Dementia is horrible it is terrible to see a loved one slowly lose their memory and worse still is the way a person who starts repeating themselves suddenly loses friends which is what happened to my nan and to a friend of my dads people suddenly didn't want to know them


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