Usually a doctor will conduct a series of tests in order to make a proper diagnosis. They will perform brain scans and do a physical exam. A mental status exam will also be conducted. A consultation with a neurologist will be scheduled. During this time, they will conduct several memory tests to pinpoint the cause of memory loss and check if you suffer from dementia.
During the consultation, the doctor will ask you to complete several physical exams. These include blood tests, neurological tests, and vision tests. Your mental health will be assessed as well. The goal is to determine if you have any brain scans or vision problems that would suggest that you may have a problem with your memory.
Common symptoms of dementia
The most common symptom of this disease is forgetfulness. The patient will forget several common things, such as names, phone numbers, and where they put things. They will also struggle with organization and will usually fail to follow regular routines. A clear correlation has been drawn between Alzheimer’s and dementia. People who have dementia are more likely to also have a diagnosis of cognitive impairment.
If you are an older person and you think you may have Dementia Disease, then you need to contact a professional for proper diagnosis. Cognitive impairment means that you are unable to think of or remember things. Forgetting names and places is just one symptom. Another is that you tend to experience problems with planning ahead and are unable to make logical inferences. This can be a very difficult combination to live with.
Mild cognitive impairment is described as having moderate to severe memory problems. A person who meets the above criteria has an inability to perform activities that would normally require at least moderate ability. This includes but is not limited to, writing, reading, and recognizing pictures. A person with dementia that meets this criterion has difficulty of thinking and comprehending things. In the Alzheimer’s world, having a short memory is considered a symptom of having the disease. In other words, having a short memory does not necessarily mean you have Alzheimer’s.
Unfortunately, having some or all of these symptoms does not always mean that you have Alzheimer’s. Sometimes, these signs will go unnoticed. Therefore, it is important that you get an early diagnosis in order to prevent further memory loss or worse. Having an early diagnosis can make the difference between full recovery and a lifetime of complications that can be avoided.
Statistics of dementia
Dementia affects about one out of every four Americans over age 65. This figure is based on a study of people conducted by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). This study determined that fifty percent of people believed they had dementia when in reality, their symptoms were actually the result of another disorder. Other studies have indicated that up to twenty percent of patients who are suspected of having the disease do not have it after undergoing a proper screening process. This makes the importance of proper screening very important.
As previously mentioned, dementia symptoms can be misconstrued for other illnesses. Amyloid diseases, which include antipsychotic medications, are commonly confused with the development of dementia. This condition is usually characterized by stiff muscles, drooping eyelids, dry mouth, and severe headaches. This condition often begins in middle age but does not generally become serious until later. Other disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and cerebral palsy can cause similar symptoms that mimic dementia. However, both of these diseases are not degenerative in nature and should not be treated as such.
Another common misconception regarding dementia is that it only affects older individuals. This is simply untrue, as the condition can affect anyone. Dementia’s causes can stem from any age bracket or from any culture or background. It is important to remember that everyone has dementia symptoms to at least some degree. For this reason, it is important to have an accurate assessment from your medical professional if you feel you may be suffering from this disorder.
The bad news is that this disease has no known cure. While there is no cure for this condition, there are ways to treat it. One way to address the condition is to take vitamins and minerals that will aid in proper brain cell function. Another is to avoid stressful situations that can stress out the brain. Lifestyle changes may also include lessening daily stresses such as excessive alcohol use, excessive caffeine intake, and smoking.