What is dementia?
While occasional memory lapses can be attributed to factors like stress or fatigue, persistent forgetfulness, especially in those over 65, warrants attention. If memory loss begins to impact daily life, it's crucial to consult with a GP about potential early signs of dementia.
Dementia goes beyond memory issues; it can influence speech, thought processes, emotions, and behaviour. Importantly, dementia is not an inevitable aspect of ageing.
Dementia is a syndrome characterised by an ongoing decline in brain function, with various causes and types. It's common for individuals to confuse dementia with Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's is a specific type of dementia, along with vascular dementia, constituting the majority of cases. Seeking guidance from a healthcare professional can provide clarity and support for individuals and their families.
Dementia is a broad term encompassing various disorders characterised by cognitive decline affecting daily functioning.
Alzheimer's Disease: the most common form, marked by memory loss and cognitive decline.
Vascular Dementia: results from reduced blood flow to the brain, affecting thinking skills.
Lewy Body Dementia: involves abnormal protein deposits, leading to hallucinations and alertness fluctuations.
Frontotemporal Dementia: affects behaviour and personality due to damaged nerve cells.
Risk factors for Dementia
Dementia risk factors encompass a range of influences, and understanding them is vital for proactive health management:
: while not everyone with a family history develops dementia, certain genes can increase susceptibility. Genetic testing and counselling may offer insights into individual risk.
unhealthy habits, such as a poor diet, lack of exercise, and smoking, contribute to vascular conditions that heighten dementia risk. Adopting a healthy lifestyle, including regular physical activity and a balanced diet, can mitigate these risks.
: prolonged exposure to environmental pollutants and toxins may play a role in dementia development. Minimising exposure to such elements, like maintaining air quality in living spaces, can contribute to overall brain health.