Is there a common cause of dementia? What is the difference between people with vascular dementia and those with Alzheimer’s disease? Are there available drug treatments for those who develop dementia? Learn more about the types of dementia and how we can provide proper care for persons with dementia.
Dementia is a disorder of the brain that is characterised by progressive worsening of memory and intellect (cognitive abilities), orientation and personality. Dementia affects a person's ability to think, reason, remember, learn new information and skills, solve problems, and make judgements. It results in a progressive worsening of the affected person's work, daily activities, and ability to interact socially.
To date there is no cure for dementia but through treatment and medications, it can slow down the progression of the disease.
There is no way to prevent it, but it is possible to lower the risk by:
Some of the causes of dementia include:
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive illness in which the nerve cells of the brain are destroyed, and the brain substance shrinks. The cause of Alzheimer's disease is not fully understood but it's likely a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors.
Vascular dementia is caused by reduced supply of blood to the brain due to damaged blood vessels, depriving brain cells of vital oxygen and nutrients. There are many factors that can increase the chances of damage to blood vessels in your brain and may be preventable.
Support for the person with dementia as well as the family members and caregivers are important as it allows appropriate care to be provided. These support services include:
The attending doctor or healthcare professional may also refer family members or caregivers to community resources to meet various care needs.
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Read these next:
Subramaniam. M, et. al. Prevalence of Dementia in People Aged 60 years and above: Results from the WiSE Study, 2015, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 45 (2015) 1127-1138Baumgart, M., Synder, H. M., Carrilo, M.C., Fazio. M., Kim, H., & Johns, H. (2015). Summary of the evidence on modifiable risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia: A population-based perspective. Alzheimer & Dementia, 11, 718-726. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1552526015001971How to reduce your risk of dementia? (2018). Alzheimer’s Society https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/risk-factors-and-prevention/how-reduce-your-risk-dementia Tests for diagnosis of dementia. (2020). National Health Service. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dementia/diagnosis-tests/What are the treatments for dementia? (2020). National Health Service. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dementia/treatment/ Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care: Help for Family Caregivers. (2021). HelpGuide. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/alzheimers-dementia-aging/tips-for-alzheimers-caregivers.htm Dementia. (2019). National Neuroscience Institute Singapore. https://www.nni.com.sg/patient-care/conditions-treatments/dementia Dementia – early signs. (2021). Better Health Channel. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ConditionsAndTreatments/dementia-early-signs10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s. (2021). Alzheimer’s Association. https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/10_signs
This article was last reviewed on
15 Sep 2023
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