Book a Tele Consultation Book an OP Appointment Contact Us

Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Dr. Mathew Abraham, Senior Consultant - Neurosciences

Blog 36 600 x 427 Alzheimers

The normal brain works like a computer, with the various parts specialising in the processing of specific information. These centres are interconnected by nerve cells and fibres, which constitute sophisticated circuits that process incoming information instantaneously. These nerve cells communicate with each other by physical contact and neuro chemical messengers (called Neurotransmitter’s) like Acetyl choline. On the basis of this proper processing, the appropriately necessary executive action is performed. Normal day to day functioning requires the absolute integrity of these circuits.

As one grows older, some of these cells degenerate, resulting in the loss of efficiency in day to day activities. However, it never reaches the level were normal social and professional functioning is critically affected.

Dementia involves the progressive, significant loss of these circuits, out of proportion to one’s age. As a result, the patient’s daily functioning is compromised beyond a critical level. This is due to a faulty processing of incoming information, the executive decisions go wrong, resulting in inappropriate actions, words or behaviour. It gets progressively worse over time and is reflected in the degenerating clinical picture of Dementia.

Dementia produces the loss of various islands of cognitive function, like memory, understanding and spoken speech, emotions, behaviour, sense of direction, control of bowel and urine. Recent memory is the faculty most commonly affected with a relative sparing of old memories. This is especially characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. Fronto temporal dementia, on the other hand, usually involves the loss of language skills and behavioural abnormalities, with only a late involvement of memory. Dementia with Lewy Bodies produces visual hallucinations and a fluctuating pattern of memory and attention deficits

The older one grows, the more likely the chance of developing this pathological condition. At the age of 80, there is a 20% chance of developing Dementia.

Dementia can result from many diseases, and Alzheimer’s is only one of the implicated pathologies. It can also occur secondary to Thyroid and Vitamin B12 deficiencies, chronic infections like Syphilis or AIDS, multiple strokes or other degenerative diseases like Fronto temporal dementia or Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB).

Anxiety and depression can result in the temporary deterioration of cognitive function, resulting in a dementia-like picture. However, this is an eminently treatable condition and constitutes only a dementia mimic- pseudo dementia.

Any person who has a deterioration from his normal level of day to day functioning, socially or professionally, requires to be assessed for the possibility of a dementing process.

This would involve the scientific assessment of his present level of functioning, covering the various cognitive faculties of the brain. It would also require the ruling out of a possible depressive state. The focus of investigations would be to identify and rule out treatable conditions, which can result in dementia, like infections, or deficiency diseases. These can be diagnosed by the appropriate blood tests. Partially treatable problems like strokes or tumors can be identified by using imaging techniques like an MRI scan.

After these treatable conditions have been ruled out, we are left with a basket of progressively degenerative irreversible diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Fronto Temporal Dementia. Unfortunately no specific treatment is as yet available to cure or mitigate these conditions.

Some drugs have been found to slow down the relentless progress of the disease. Individual symptoms which endanger the patient or stress out the care givers can be therapeutically targeted. These would help improve the quality of life of the patient and the caregiver.

Public awareness needs to be increased about the existence and extent of the problem.

Caregivers should be made to understand that the disease in their close relatives is not their fault and they need not feel guilty about it. Looking after these demented patients is a 24 x 7 job, very often thankless. Many times the caregivers go into depression, being physically exhausted and emotionally blunted after caring for these patients. They need help and some breaks in their daily drudgery. We need to have more NGO’s in society, manned by motivated volunteers who can help in looking after these patients. The government needs to step in with financial and infrastructural support.

A great amount of research is going on world-wide to help crack the secrets of these unfortunate diseases. We can only hope and pray for a serendipitous discovery that would offer a breakthrough treatment.

Related Articles

Other Articles

About COVID 19 vaccination in Children

What you should know about COVID-19 vaccination in Children

Bone health in children

The necessity of assessing bone health in children with chronic illness

Ramadan 2021

Scientific Benefits of fasting during Ramadan

Ramadan recipies 2021

Ramadan Recipes

Blog 600x427 62 womenshealth

Know All About Endometriosis

Blog 600x427 aster toi

The way we think of cancer: what needs to change?

Blog 600x427 61 covid pregnancy

Pregnancy in COVID times: When you’re expecting during a pandemic

Blog workingwomen

Working Women’s mental health in a ‘new normal’ of COVID era

Blog healthysncks

WFH And Healthy Snacking – What Healthy Snacking Looks Like

Blog skincaremiddleages

Skin Care in Middle Aged Women

Blog skincare adolescent

Skin care in adolescent girls and young ladies

Skin Care Elderly Women blog

Skin Care for Elderly Women

Psychological blog

Psychological problems faced by men of different ages and ways to deal with them

Blog 600x427 54 thyroid

Managing Thyroid Health with Key Nutrients

Blog health summer

Healthy Summer Treats for Kids: They will actually demand for more of these

Covid 19 and Diabetesblog

Covid-19 and Diabetes: Expert tips and diet plan

Cancer care blog

Cancer Care During Covid-19

Best stretching exercises blog

Best stretching exercises to stay fit at home

Blog osteoporosis clinic

Osteoporosis-Silent thief-BeAware

Blog 600x427 dizziness

DO YOU HAVE A MIGRAINE HEADACHE & CAN IT CAUSE DIZZINESS:-

Blog 600x427 dilemmas of working women

Lifestyle Choices : Understanding dilemmas of working women

Blog 600 x 427 limb reconstruction 1

What is limb reconstruction ?

Blog 600 x 427 abnormal foetal echo

WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE AN ABNORMAL FOETAL ECHO?

Blog 600 x 427 congenital heart diseases

NON-SURGICAL MANAGEMENT OF CONGENITAL HEART DISEASES

Blog 600 x 427 covid 19 pandemic

How to take care of your health amidst COVID 19 pandemic

Blog 600x427 2 ABDOMINOPLASTY

ABDOMINOPLASTY

Blog 600x427 1 GYNECOMASTIA

GYNECOMASTIA

Blog 37 600 x 427 heart disease

Congenital Heart Disease (CHD): What You Should Know

Blog 600x427 3 Cosmetic

Cosmetic Surgeries After Weight loss

Blog 35 336 x 337 may20 new

High Blood Pressure and Your Health

Blogs-32-600-x-427

Glucose Meters are Your Ally

Blogs-31-600-x-427

Chemical Peel: Discover Radiant, Youthful Skin

Blogs-30-600-x-427

Scoliosis In Children: How Corrective Surgery Can Transform Lives

Blogs-29-600-x-427

Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD): A Growing Epidemic in Kerala

Blogs-38-600-x-427

NIPAH VIRUS INFECTION: BE INFORMED, BE SAFE

Blogs-28-600-x-427

World Health Day 2018

Blogs-27-600-x-427

Understanding Autism Helps Early Detection

Blogs-26-600-x-427

Have The Right Amount Of Carbohydrates And Fats To Keep Your Heart Healthy

Blogs-25-600-x-427

Cancer In The Elderly: Adopting A Holistic Approach

Blogs-24-600-x-427

Women And Kidney Diseases

Blogs-23-600-x-427

PCOS IN ADOLESCENTS : AN ENIGMA

Blogs-22-600-x-427

Epilepsy: The Reality

Blogs-21-600-x-427

Cancer- no more a crab!

Blogs-34-600-x-427

Pulmonary Rehabilitation: Helping People With Lung Diseases Live An Active Life

Blogs-20-600-x-427

Obesity In Indians

Blogs-19-600-x-427

Diabetes- What We Should Know?

Blogs-18-600-x-427

Pneumonia: What You Should Know?

Blogs-41-600-x-427

9 Ways To Prevent Neck Pain

Blogs-17-600-x-427

The Simple Step To Good Health

Blogs-39-600-x-427

Angioplasty for Chronic Total Occlusions (CTOs)

Blogs-16-600-x-427

Understanding Alzheimers disease

Blogs-15-600-x-427

TAKE A MINUTE, CHANGE A LIFE – SUICIDE PREVENTION AND YOU

Blogs-14-600-x-427

Polycystic Ovarian Disease

Blogs-13-600-x-427

Cancer Of The Cervix And How To Prevent It

Blogs-12-600-x-427

Key Hole Spine Surgery: Making Spine Surgery Easier

Blogs-11-600-x-427

Vitiligo: What You Should Know

Blogs-40-600-x-427

Kidney Transplantation - A Second Chance At Life

Blogs-36-600-x-427

Dialysis: A Life Sustaining Treatment For End Stage Kidney Failure Patients

Blogs-10-600-x-427

Understanding Carotid Endarterectomy

Blogs-9-600-x-427

Laparoscopic Surgery: What To Expect

Blogs-35-600-x-427

Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery

Blogs-7-600-x-427

Back Pain In Children: Never Ignore The Problem

Blogs-6-600-x-427

The Diabetic Foot: A Surgical Perspective

Blogs-37-600-x-427

Chronic Kidney Disease: The Silent Killer

Blogs-47-600-x-427

Laser Surgery: The Effective Way To Treat Prostate Enlargement

Blogs-5-600-x-427

Male Infertility: What You Should Know

Blogs-33-600-x-427

Prostate Cancer: Ten Facts You Should Know

Blogs-4-600-x-427

Walking on metal knees

Blogs-8-600-x-427

Are You Sleeping Well?

Blog-3-600-x-427

Complex Coronary Angioplasty

Blogs-44-600-x-427

Good Mental Health: An Overview

Blogs-2-600-x-427

How does ‘bad’ cholesterol affect brain function?

Blogs-1-600-x-427

Some Types of Blood Pressure Medications

Blogs-42-600-x-427

IBD: Do you know the signs and symptoms?

Blogs-45-600-x-427

Colorectal Cancer: What You Should Know

Blogs-43-600-x-427

Healthy tips for your heart’s sake

Blogs-48-600-x-427

Adding years to life after a coronary artery bypass surgery

Blogs-46-600-x-427

What you need to know about osteoarthritis

Didyouknowthecausessymptomsandtreatmentoptionsfor Tetanus

Tetanus : what you should know

Stomachcancer

Stomach Cancer : Be Informed

Howtorecognizesignsof Depression

Depression : Overcome it!

Pearlywhite

Smile healthy

Chikenpox

Chicken Pox : How to manage the infection

Gastrialcer

Gastric Ulceration - Causes, Risk Factors and Symptoms

Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

Neckpain

Neck Pain: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

02-PET_CT_blog_1

PET/CT Scan: A New World of Diagnosing and Treating Patients

All You Need To Know About Cervical Spondylosis

All You Need To Know About Cervical Spondylosis

Whydo Panic Attacks Happen

Why do Panic Attacks Happen?

Malnutrition640x627px

Malnutrition : facts you should know

03-_True_beam_list_new1

Advanced medical linear accelerators help fight cancer faster, smarter and with precision

Worldcancerday

February 4: World Cancer Day

Breastcancer640x627pxcopy

Breast Cancer: Symptoms, Causes and Risk Factors

Bellspalsy640x627pxcopy

Bells Palsy: Symptoms, Causes and Risk Factors

01-_da_vinci_blog

Changing The Experience Of Surgery

Skinburntubercolosispregnantwomen

Tuberculosis: Causes, Symptoms and Prevention

54ae65fd1526c_pregnantwomen

Health Tips for Pregnant Women

Burnskin

Tips to tackle burns instantly and minimize scarring

DENGUBLOG

Dengue : Stay Protected

Rabies

Rabies: Causes, Symptoms and Protection

Dyslexia

Dyslexia Guide for Parents and Teachers

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body Dysmorphic Disorder: Signs, Triggers and Remedies

548fe16c8c602_backpain

Lower back pain: Causes and Symptoms

54880353d2169_Bronchitis

Bronchitis: Symptoms, Causes and Precautions

54801b6d44547_allergy

How To Deal With Allergies

Sinus_big

Does Prolonged Cold Indicate A Sinus Infection?

547ec6209db1e_kneetreatment

What to expect from a Knee Replacement Treatment?

Dec1_World AIDSDay

World AIDS Day - December 1

547411965bc4d_malaria

Malaria – Symptoms, Causes and Facts

547421eb53fad_clean

Keep your home germ-free

546c7462927ca_DANDRUFF

Tackling Dandruff

Winter

Tips to stay healthy during winters

World-Diabetes-Day14nv-2blog

Healthy living and Diabetes

Breast-feeding

Breast-feeding reduces the risk of diabetes in children

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia : Symptoms, Causes and Myths

Asthama

Asthma : Causes, Symptoms & Self-Help Tips

Cute-371993_640

Vaccination : keep your child healthy

What_happens_if

Take care - children tend to swallow dangerous objects!

4-blog-post-for-POST-10-ALL-new

5 signs of ear infection in children

DIWALI-POST

Celebrate a healthy and safe Diwali!

Blog-World-Osteoporosis-day

October 20 : World Osteoporosis Day

3-blog-post-for-POST-10-ALL-new

How to avoid feeling sleepy in the afternoon.

Lets-do-breakfast-smartly

A great day begins with a healthy breakfast

Blog-Free-Checkup-on-World-Arthritis-Day

World Arthritis Day: Get a free check-up* at Aster Medcity

5blog-post-for-POST-10-ALL

Understanding ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

1-blog-post-for-POST-10-ALL-1

Protect your hair against sun damage

Migraines_big

Migraine – Symptoms, Triggers and Treatment

Healthy_heart_big

Call Aster Heartline: Start caring for your heart

Change_your_health

Only you can take care of yourself.

Ladies_days_big

Are demands of modern life making women unhealthier?

Kidney_stone_big

Kidney Stones Causes and Remedies

Hepatitis_big_image

Hepatitis A and B – Symptoms, Transmission and Prevention

Sweet_fact

Sweet fact: Chocolates are good for you.

Childhood_obesity_big

Too strict on your kids? They can become obese!

Attention_Diabetics

Are you a diabetic? Make sure you don't fall prey to these 7 problems.

7-Fertility-Myths-Couples-Need-to-Stop-Believing

7 Fertility Myths Couples Need to Stop Believing

EYE-DONATION_2

May your eyes live on.

EYE-DONATION

10 myths on eye donation: let’s see the reality!

Copyright © Aster DM Healthcare 2019. All rights reserved.