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5 facts about dementia that you should know

Memory loss is associated with dementia but there are other ways in which it can affect a person, like behavioural changes, disorientation, etc.

Written by Debjani Arora |Published : August 3, 2018 2:12 PM IST

When we talk about dementia two things that come to our mind are memory loss and age. It is true that most people suffer from memory loss as they age, the severity of which depends on a lot of factors, but dementia due to old age is not a given. It is a syndrome, usually of a chronic or progressive nature, caused by a variety of reasons that affect memory, thinking, behaviour and ability to perform everyday activities. Dementia, in reality, is more than just mere memory loss. According to WHO The number of people living with dementia worldwide is currently estimated at 47 million and is projected to increase to 75 million by 2030. The number of cases of dementia is estimated to almost triple by 2050. While there is no cure for this condition but diagnosing the condition early can help improve one's quality of life.

Here are few things about dementia that you should know:

Dementia is more than memory loss: First, it is not a disease but a syndrome and affects people in a variety of ways including changes in behaviour, cognitive functions leading to confusion and disorientation, delusions and hallucinations, difficulty in communicating, problems in judging speeds and distances and even cravings for particular foods. Everyone's experience of dementia in a different way, no two people will suffer from the same symptoms of dementia.

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Dementia might not necessarily be a part of ageing: While we all think that memory loss or suffering from dementia is inevitable as one age but it is not a given. There is always a likelihood of suffering from dementia as one age, however, there are certain risk factors that make one susceptible to the condition family history, blood pressure, diabetes, alcoholism, certain nutritional deficiencies are some of the reasons.

Dementia is not a disease: In fact, it is a condition that is caused by a lot of other diseases. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia but there are other forms of dementia too which include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia.

Dementia affects women more than men: There are various studies that say women are impacted more by this condition. In fact, if statistics are to be believed, then half a million women in the UK are now living with dementia.

Dementia cannot be cured: At present, there are no treatments to stop the diseases that cause dementia but there are some treatments that can help people to live with their symptoms a little better. This means that the diseases continue to get worse over time unless new treatments can be found quickly. However, doctors and therapists believe that early diagnosis can still help to manage the condition better and promise a good quality of life.

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