Dementia Related Post

The Mad Book Chapter 10


This is 11 minutes long, so you may want to click the Play Button above and listen along.

The list continues…

Vascular Dementia
The second most common cause of neural decline, but it only accounts for about 10% of all cases.

What does this mean:

Vascular: The vascular system, also called the circulatory system, comprises the arteries and veins that carry blood, delivering oxygen and nutrients to the body tissues, while a clear liquid containing water and blood cells helps remove the natural products produced from the bodies everyday function of living.

Dementia: Neural Decline

So when there is a problem with the system, such as bleeding in the brain or a stroke. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients. Brain cells begin to die in minutes.

This Vascular Dementia is also called post-stroke or multi-infarction dementia. So post means something that happens after. The signs of neural decline may develop after you’ve had a stroke. Multi-infarction. Multi means many, and infarction means blockage. So, if you have many blockages to the vascular system within the brain, you will most likely develop signs and symptoms of neural decline over time.

Many think that this is a sudden thing, but this can occur over time without any initial signs or symptoms, but collectively they can develop into a significant problem. Doctors call these, Silent Strokes!

Diagnosis is often quite distinctive and more likely accurate due to the apparent signs and symptoms and scans that confirm the cause.

There is no treatment other than looking to prevent further problems, but there is an interesting note to consider. When looking at controlling or avoiding the diseases and medical conditions due to the high risk of additional strokes: high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease are considered factors.

The best Treatment for multi-infarction dementia, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and stroke, is prevention early in life – by eating a healthy diet, exercising, not smoking, moderately using alcohol, and maintaining a healthy weight.

So you see, the Treatment after strokes is the same as prevention measures.

Prevention is maybe the road to a cure!

Lewy Body Dementia

LBD is accounting for about 10% of those with neural decline.

There is no definitive test for LBD, but the signs, symptoms, scans, and biomarkers, the biological signs of the disease can be quite distinctive.

It is hard to diagnose because the signs and symptoms are similar to other conditions causing neural decline and possible psychiatric illnesses. It also can be taken for Parkinson’s because of similarities.

Here is a checklist from the Lewy Body Dementia Association.

 Cognitive Symptoms 

Forgetfulness
Trouble with problem-solving or analytical thinking
Difficulty planning or keeping track of sequences (poor multi-tasking) Disorganized speech and conversation
Difficulty with a sense of direction or spatial relationships between objects

Fluctuations

Fluctuating levels of concentration and attention
Unexplained episodes of confusion
Excessive daytime sleepiness

  Parkinson's-like Symptoms

Rigidity or stiffness
Shuffling walk
Balance problems or repeated falls
Tremor
Slowness of movement
Decrease or change in facial expression
Change in posture

   Behaviour and Mood Changes

Hallucinations – Seeing things that are not really present

    Sleep Concerns

Acting out dreams during sleep, sometimes violently, falling out of bed.

      Reactions to Medications for Hallucinations (antipsychotics) Increased parkinsonism (stiffness, rigidity, etc.)

Increased confusion
Increased sleepiness

As you can see, there is a lot you may be familiar with, while at the same time, some others seem more specific.

An area that I’m very interested in and again seems to be getting a bit more attention is Reactions to Medication.

Like other conditions such as Alzheimer’s, LBD is seen as a neurodegenerative disorder, and there is no known therapy to stop, slow, or reverse it!

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

The horrible term people better know the connection with this disease is, Mad Cow Disease.

It is caused by a form of protein that is deadly to the brain. It seems that it is most likely due to some form of cross-contamination.

There is no definitive diagnosis until after death, but the history, signs, symptoms, scans, biomarkers, and biological signs of the disease can be quite distinctive, especially in the later stages.

It is a rapid and fatal disorder that affects memory and coordination and thus causing behaviour changes. Symptoms include speech impairment, memory loss, confusion, muscle twitching, and stiffness. Occasionally, hallucinations and blurred vision are also known with this condition.

There is no cure at present for this disease.

Huntington’s Disease

This disease is a progressive brain disorder that is caused by a defective gene. The gene defect may cause abnormalities in a brain protein, which result in worsening symptoms but still under research.

A preliminary diagnosis of Huntington’s disease is based on similar questions for all those with neural decline, but family history may be a distinctive factor. If there is a possible strong family connection, then a genetic test may be suggested that would confirm the gene defect.

It is inherited progressive dementia, affecting the patient’s behaviour, cognition, and movement. The common symptoms of dementia caused by Huntington’s disease are impaired judgment, memory problems, mood swings, speech problems, frequent urination, and Depression. Also, hallucinations and delusions may occur. Additionally, people with Huntington’s disease may experience uncontrollable jerking movements and difficulty walking.

There is no treatment to stop the development of this disease, but you can take medication to control movement disorders and maybe help with psychiatric symptoms.

Frontotemporal Dementia

Some common symptoms are changes in behaviour and personality and difficulty with language.

Brain cells in the side regions and front of the brain are affected.

Some main symptoms of frontotemporal dementia are decreased inhibition, often resulting in inappropriate behaviour, reduced empathy, apathy, loss of motivation, anxiety, depression, repetitive, compulsive behaviours.

This type of neural decline shows us that the area of the brain where the brain cell death occurs reflects the signs and symptoms of the illness.

Again this type of neural decline cannot be treated. Drugs may help to suppress problems.

Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus

This condition is caused by the build-up of fluid in the brain. Impaired fluid drainage causes the added pressure on the brain, involving the brain’s ability to function normally.

Normal-pressure hydrocephalus can occur in people of any age, but it is most common in the elderly. It may result from a subarachnoid haemorrhage, head trauma, infection, tumour, or surgical complications.

Some symptoms of this type of dementia are difficulty walking, inability to control balance and urination and memory loss, in addition to impairments involving speech and problem-solving abilities.

Early diagnosis and treatment, which is most likely surgical intervention to relieve the pressure, is critical.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) belongs to a group of conditions called motor system disorders, which cause the body’s distinctive unintended or uncontrollable movements.

The precise cause is still unknown and definitive test to diagnose Parkinson’s Disease. It is believed that this is most likely caused by a combination of genetics and environmental factors, but no certainty!

However, there are some quite clear indicators of the condition.

The four primary symptoms of PD are:
tremor–shaking that has a characteristic rhythmic back and forth motion
rigidity–muscle stiffness or resistance to movement, where muscles remain constantly tense and contracted
bradykinesia–slowing of spontaneous and automatic movement that can make it difficult to perform simple tasks or rapidly perform routine movements
Postural instability–impaired balance and changes in posture that can increase the risk of falls.

Other symptoms may include:
Difficulty swallowing, chewing, or speaking.
Emotional changes.
Urinary problems or constipation.
Fatigue.
Problems sleeping.
Dementia or other cognitive issues.

Although there is no cure, various medications seem to be working well to alleviate some symptoms.

I’ve tried to keep it short so you don’t fall asleep… nearly at the end of the list!

1 reply »

  1. A very interesting read. Is it me or does some of the symptoms appear on more than one of the different dementia types?
    Love you Cx 💜

    Like

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