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Jack Sisson's TBI Blog

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I believe we told you that Jack's Parkinson's diagnosis was an error. He does NOT have Parkinson's. What he HAS been diagnosed with is Dementia, and quite naturally he wants to learn everything possible about it. We will continue to post about Parkinson's from time to time, but our main emphasis will remain Traumatic Brain Injury with the addition of Dementia.

From PubMed Health:
Dementia is a loss of brain function that occurs with certain diseases. It affects memory, thinking, language, judgment, and behavior.

See also: Alzheimer's disease

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Most types of dementia are nonreversible (degenerative). Nonreversible means the changes in the brain that are causing the dementia cannot be stopped or turned back. Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia.

Lewy body disease is a leading cause of dementia in elderly adults. People with this condition have abnormal protein structures in certain areas of the brain.

Dementia also can be due to many small strokes. This is called vascular dementia.

The following medical conditions also can lead to dementia:

Some causes of dementia may be stopped or reversed if they are found soon enough, including:

Dementia usually occurs in older age. It is rare in people under age 60. The risk for dementia increases as a person gets older.

Symptoms

Dementia symptoms include difficulty with many areas of mental function, including:

  • Language

  • Memory

  • Perception

  • Emotional behavior or personality

  • Cognitive skills (such as calculation, abstract thinking, or judgment)

Dementia usually first appears as forgetfulness.

Mild cognitive impairment is the stage between normal forgetfulness due to aging and the development of dementia. People with MCI have mild problems with thinking and memory that do not interfere with everyday activities. They are often aware of the forgetfulness. Not everyone with MCI develops dementia.

Symptoms of MCI include:

  • Forgetting recent events or conversations

  • Difficulty performing more than one task at a time

  • Difficulty solving problems

  • Taking longer to perform more difficult mental activities

The early symptoms of dementia can include:

  • Language problems, such as trouble finding the name of familiar objects

  • Misplacing items

  • Getting lost on familiar routes

  • Personality changes and loss of social skills

  • Losing interest in things you previously enjoyed, flat mood

  • Difficulty performing tasks that take some thought, but that used to come easily, such as balancing a checkbook, playing games (such as bridge), and learning new information or routines

As the dementia becomes worse, symptoms are more obvious and interfere with the ability to take care of yourself. The symptoms may include:

  • Forgetting details about current events

  • Forgetting events in your own life history, losing awareness of who you are

  • Change in sleep patterns, often waking up at night

  • More difficulty reading or writing

  • Poor judgment and loss of ability to recognize danger

  • Using the wrong word, not pronouncing words correctly, speaking in confusing sentences

  • Withdrawing from social contact

  • Having hallucinations, arguments, striking out, and violent behavior

  • Having delusions, depression, agitation

  • Difficulty doing basic tasks, such as preparing meals, choosing proper clothing, or driving

People with severe dementia can no longer:

  • Understand language

  • Recognize family members

  • Perform basic activities of daily living, such as eating, dressing, and bathing

Other symptoms that may occur with dementia:


Continue reading. There's a lot more information on the PubMed page.

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