Thursday, July 8, 2010

What is Dementia?

Unfortunately, thousands of people ask this question every day.

According to the National Alzheimer's Association,

"Dementia is characterized by loss of or decline in memory and other cognitive abilities. It is caused by various diseases and conditions that result in damaged brain cells. To be classified as dementia, the following criteria must be met:
• It must include decline in memory and in at least one of the following cognitive abilities:
1) Ability to generate coherent speech or understand spoken or written language;
2) Ability to recognize or identify objects, assuming intact sensory function;
3) Ability to execute motor activities, assuming intact motor abilities, sensory function and comprehension of the required task; and
4) Ability to think abstractly, make sound judgments and plan and carry out complex tasks.

• The decline in cognitive abilities must be severe enough to interfere with daily life.

Different types of dementia have been associated with distinct symptom patterns and distinguishing microscopic brain abnormalities. Increasing evidence from long-term epidemiological observation and autopsy studies suggests that many people have microscopic brain abnormalities associated with more than one type of dementia.

The symptoms of different types of dementia also overlap and can be further complicated
by coexisting medical conditions. "

I will be writing more about dementia and particularly about Dementia Alzheimer's Type over the next several days leading up to my radio interview with Debra Anderson, Programs Manager for the Alzheimer's Association-Desert Southwest Chapter, Tucson, Arizona on Tuesday, July 13, 2010 at Noon EDT .

I truly hope you will join me.

Sandra - Caregiver Guru for the Caregiver Generation

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