Dementia is frustrating! It causes tremendous heartache and anguish for so many families. As you can imagine, struggling with any type of dementia is difficult enough, but the burden is doubled when an incorrect diagnosis is made. … Read More
Failing memory is a serious concern as we grow older. While medical solutions for memory loss remain elusive, diet, exercise, socialization and lifelong learning can push back cognitive impairment.
What is dementia? It refers to memory loss and other cognitive problems that are severe enough to interrupt a person’s daily life. Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies are all types of dementia.
More than 5 million Americans currently live with Alzheimer’s disease—the most common form of dementia. By 2050, that number is expected to rise to 16 million Americans.
In Alzheimer’s disease, abnormal proteins called tau and beta-amyloid clump together to form deposits in the brain. These deposits gradually damage nerve cells and destroy areas of the brain. Vascular dementia often occurs after a stroke that damages blood vessels in the brain. The damaged vessels prevent enough blood from reaching brain tissues. People who have dementia with Lewy bodies have an abnormal buildup of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain. It’s possible to have a combination of these different dementia types, known as “mixed dementia.”
Dementia symptoms vary by type, but can include difficulty remembering names and events, trouble communicating, depression, poor judgment, confusion, behavior changes, and sleep disturbances. People who are suspected of having dementia will undergo a series of dementia tests, or Alzheimer’s tests, to determine whether they have lost memory and cognitive function. Doctors will ask the person and his or her family members about any memory problems and trouble completing daily activities.
Other tests involve evaluating memory, attention, problem-solving, and language skills. During these tests, the health care provider will ask the person a series of questions and assign tasks, such as remembering the names of common objects or drawing a face of a clock. Brain scans such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or positron emission tomography (PET) may also be done to assess brain structure and function.
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Delirium is a medical syndrome—not a disease—in which there is a rapid onset of confusion, altered consciousness, and behavioral changes. Unlike dementia, which shares some of these symptoms, the onset of delirium is usually within hours or days (as opposed to months or years).
Delirium is considered a medical emergency. … Read More
Eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate benefits health in many ways. In fact, chocolate is now considered an anti-aging, anti-inflammatory “superfood” for the brain and body. Studies examining the health benefits of chocolate continue to reveal new and exciting chocolate benefits, particularly in the realms of cognitive function, mood, and … Read More
A concussion is considered a mild traumatic brain injury (MBTI), but it can be a serious injury especially as we get older. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in people 65 years of age and older, traumatic brain injury (TBI) leads to more than 2.5 million emergency … Read More
Combining physical exercise with video games can help boost motivation when it comes to getting enough physical activity, but “exergaming” isn’t just for kids—it may benefit adults, too. In a recent small study, older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who played exergames—video games that double as exercise—experienced improvements when … Read More
Lewy body dementia symptoms are often confused for signs of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Both conditions are characterized by declines in thinking skills, and both can lead to mood changes and difficulty communicating. But while AD always results in significant memory loss, Lewy body dementia doesn’t always cause serious memory problems. … Read More
Ahh, brain fog. Why do you toy with me so? The other day I looked everywhere for my car keys. I was rushing so I could drop off my kids at school (finally!) when I realized they were missing (the keys, not the kids). I searched frantically: the kitchen, the … Read More
As you get older, it’s natural to be concerned about the possibility that you or a loved one will begin showing signs of dementia. In fact, among adults who are age 65 or older, one in nine will develop Alzheimer’s disease (AD), according to the Alzheimer’s Association. How can you … Read More
Some days I would give just about anything to increase concentration. I’m currently standing in my home office in search of something I knew I needed just seconds ago. I was in the kitchen, scrolling through chicken recipes online while simultaneously helping my kids with their homework when it popped … Read More
Typically, shiny red sports cars or Harley motorcycles come to mind when you hear the words, “mid-life crisis.” Many wives joke that after 50, their husbands begin “losing their minds.” But, research indicates… … Read More