Friday, May 13, 2022

How Does Dementia Affect The Brain

Don't Miss

Causes Of Dementia With Lewy Bodies

How Does Dementia Affect The Brain?

Lewy bodies are tiny clumps of a protein called alpha-synuclein that can develop inside brain cells.

These clumps damage the way the cells work and communicate with each other, and the brain cells eventually die.

Dementia with Lewy bodies is closely related to Parkinson’s disease and often has some of the same symptoms, including difficulty with movement and a higher risk of falls.

Read more about dementia with Lewy bodies.

How Does Covid Damage The Brain

These nasal sensory cells connect to an area of the brain known as the limbic system, which is involved in emotion, learning and memory.

In a UK-based study released as a pre-print online in June, researchers compared brain images taken of people before and after exposure to COVID. They showed parts of the limbic system had decreased in size compared to people not infected. This could signal a future vulnerability to brain diseases and may play a role in the emergence of long-COVID symptoms.

COVID could also indirectly affect the brain. The virus can damage blood vessels and cause either bleeding or blockages resulting in the disruption of blood, oxygen, or nutrient supply to the brain, particularly to areas responsible for problem solving.

The virus also activates the immune system, and in some people, this triggers the production of toxic molecules which can reduce brain function.

Although research on this is still emerging, the effects of COVID on nerves that control gut function should also be considered. This may impact digestion and the health and composition of gut bacteria, which are known to influence the function of the brain.

The virus could also compromise the function of the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland, often known as the master gland, regulates hormone production. This includes cortisol, which governs our response to stress. When cortisol is deficient, this may contribute to long-term fatigue.

What Is Dementia Symptoms Types And Diagnosis

Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning thinking, remembering, and reasoning to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities. Some people with dementia cannot control their emotions, and their personalities may change. Dementia ranges in severity from the mildest stage, when it is just beginning to affect a person’s functioning, to the most severe stage, when the person must depend completely on others for basic activities of living.

Dementia is more common as people grow older but it is not a normal part of aging. Many people live into their 90s and beyond without any signs of dementia.

There are several different forms of dementia, including Alzheimers disease. A persons symptoms can vary depending on the type.

Read Also: Can Diabetes Cause Memory Loss

Healthy Foods That Boost Memory

Changing dietary habits is never easy. However, avoiding foods that induce memory loss and eating more of the foods that boost memory improves your chances of enjoying all-around health.

Heres the list of foods that help boost memory for seniors and the rest of us:

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Salmon and other cold-water fish
  • Berries and dark-skinned fruits

How Is Dementia Diagnosed

Why people with dementia don

To diagnose dementia, doctors first assess whether a person has an underlying, potentially treatable, condition that may relate to cognitive difficulties. A physical exam to measure blood pressure and other vital signs, as well as laboratory tests of blood and other fluids to check levels of various chemicals, hormones, and vitamins, can help uncover or rule out possible causes of symptoms.

A review of a persons medical and family history can provide important clues about risk for dementia. Typical questions might include asking about whether dementia runs in the family, how and when symptoms began, changes in behavior and personality, and if the person is taking certain medications that might cause or worsen symptoms.

The following procedures also may be used to diagnose dementia:

  • Psychiatric evaluation. This evaluation will help determine if depression or another mental health condition is causing or contributing to a person’s symptoms.
  • Genetic tests. Some dementias are caused by a persons genes. In these cases, a genetic test can help people know if they are at risk for dementia. It is important to talk with a genetic counselor before and after getting tested, along with family members and the doctor.
  • Early detection of symptoms is important, as some causes can be treated. However, in many cases, the cause of dementia is unknown and cannot be treated. Still, obtaining an early diagnosis can help with managing the condition and planning ahead.

    Also Check: Propranolol Memory Loss

    How Alzheimers Disease Affects The Brain

    Everyone who cares for someone with Alzheimer’s disease knows all too well that this condition is a thief who slowly steals the most precious parts of those they love. Their memories, ability to communicate, self expression, thinking and planning skills, and personality transform, fade, or eventually disappear.

    Caring for someone throughout the stages of AD can leave caregivers feeling powerless, unprepared, and frustrated. Understanding how the disease affects the brain can help caregivers know more about what to expect as it progresses and how to prepare for the later stages. Reducing the amount of surprise involved can make this process less stressful and help caregivers to better look after themselves and their loved ones.

    Remember that Alzheimer’s disease is not natural aging. It is a progressive disease that causes the abnormal death of brain cells. The initial signs of dementia often include memory loss, but as the disease progresses, it affects more of the brain until the person is unable to move, swallow or breathe.

    Frontotemporal Dementia With Parkinsonism

    One form of familial FTD, also known as frontotemporal dementia with Parkinsonism-17 , is caused by genetic changes in the gene for tau protein, located on chromosome 17. No other risk factors for this condition are known.

    FTDP-17 is rare and accounts for only three per cent of all cases of dementia. Symptoms progressively get worse over time and usually appear between the ages of 40 and 60. The condition affects both thinking and behavioural skills and movements such as rigidity, lack of facial expression and problems with balance .

    It can be distressing to be told that you have a genetic disorder or are at risk of having one. Genetic counselling provides the person and their family with information about a genetic disorder and its likely impact on their lives. This can assist a person with FTDP-17 to make informed medical and personal decisions about how to manage their condition and the challenges it presents to their health and wellbeing. Prenatal genetic counselling is also available for parents to help them decide about a pregnancy that may be at risk of FTDP-17.

    Don’t Miss: How Does Parkinson’s Disease Affect The Brain

    Isnt Dementia Part Of Normal Aging

    No, many older adults live their entire lives without developing dementia. Normal aging may include weakening muscles and bones, stiffening of arteries and vessels, and some age-related memory changes that may show as:

    • Occasionally misplacing car keys
    • Struggling to find a word but remembering it later
    • Forgetting the name of an acquaintance
    • Forgetting the most recent events

    Normally, knowledge and experiences built over years, old memories, and language would stay intact.

    Psychological And Psychosocial Therapies

    What is dementia? Alzheimer’s Research UK

    Psychological therapies for dementia include some limited evidence for reminiscence therapy , some benefit for cognitive reframing for caretakers, unclear evidence for validation therapy and tentative evidence for mental exercises, such as cognitive stimulation programs for people with mild to moderate dementia. A 2020 Cochrane review found that offering personally tailored activities could help reduce challenging behavior and may improve quality of life. The reviewed studies were unable to draw any conclusions about impact on individual affect or on improvements for the quality of life for the caregiver.

    Adult daycare centers as well as special care units in nursing homes often provide specialized care for dementia patients. Daycare centers offer supervision, recreation, meals, and limited health care to participants, as well as providing respite for caregivers. In addition, home care can provide one-to-one support and care in the home allowing for more individualized attention that is needed as the disorder progresses. Psychiatric nurses can make a distinctive contribution to people’s mental health.

    Some London hospitals found that using color, designs, pictures and lights helped people with dementia adjust to being at the hospital. These adjustments to the layout of the dementia wings at these hospitals helped patients by preventing confusion.

    Cognitive Training

    Personally Tailored Activities

    You May Like: Trigeminal Headache Brain Freeze

    How Dementia Affects The Brain

    Home 0

    Dementia is not kind to the brain. However, most people believe dementia destroys the entire brain at once. Actually, dementia only focuses on three of the six major regions of the brain. To understand the destruction of dementia you must understand each of the lobes which could be affected and then the functions carried out by that portion of the brain. Different types of dementia damage specific regions of the brain while leaving other regions untouched. For example, Alzhemiers is a type of dementia but it usually only ravages the memory which is located in the temporal lobe.

    Slowing The Progression Of Alzheimers Disease And Dementia

    While the progression of Alzheimers disease and many kinds of dementia cannot be reversed, there are treatments available to slow the progression and protect neural tissues, allowing patients to maintain independence and a higher quality of life for as long as possible.

    If you are looking for a local neurologist in New York, look no further than Crystal Run Healthcare. Our providers span a wide array of neurology subspecialties to bring the most comprehensive and innovative treatment plans available for Alzheimers and dementia. or visit us online at Crystalrunhealthcare.com to schedule a consultation and begin treatment as soon as possible.

    Read Also: Why Don’t I Get Brain Freezes

    Alzheimer’s And Dementia: Which Areas Of The Brain Are Affected

    The human brain is made of billions of specialized cells designed to process and transmit information. When these cells lose their ability to function properly, vital communication between neurons is impaired or completely interrupted.

    Dementia and Alzheimers disease disrupt neurons and cause damage to many areas of the brain, leading to a wide array of progressive symptoms. If you suspect dementia or Alzheimers in a loved one, it is important to find a neurologist to diagnose the cause of these cognitive and behavioral changes.

    Before identifying the specific brain changes and the areas of the brain which are affected by Alzheimer’s, its important to define neurology terms to better understand this disease.

    Risk Factors For Dementia

    How dementia affects the brain by Jennifer Awinda : $10.00 ...

    Researchers have identified several risk factors that affect the likelihood of developing one or more kinds of dementia. Some of these factors are modifiable, while others are not.

    Age. The risk of Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and several other dementias goes up significantly with advancing age.

    Genetics/family history. Researchers have discovered a number of genes that increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Although people with a family history of Alzheimer’s disease are generally considered to be at a heightened risk of developing the disease themselves, many people who have relatives with Alzheimer’s disease never develop the disease, and many without a family history of the disease do get it.

    In most cases, it is impossible to predict a specific person’s risk of the disorder based on family history alone. Some families with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Gerstmann-Str√§ussler-Scheinker syndrome, or fatal familial insomnia have mutations in the prion protein gene, although these disorders can also occur in people without the gene mutation. Individuals with these mutations are at significantly higher risk of developing these forms of dementia.

    Abnormal genes are also clearly implicated as risk factors in Huntington’s disease, FTDP-17, and several other kinds of dementia.

    Many people with Down’s syndrome show neurological and behavioral signs of Alzheimer’s disease by the time they reach middle age.

    You May Like: Do Humans Only Use 10 Percent Of Their Brain

    Does Dementia Impact The Brains Emotional Center

    People living with dementia are experiencing deterioration of brain functions. How does dementia impact the brains emotional center?

    The COVID-19 pandemic has caused mass hysteria that has touched all parts of the globe. For some, fear of not knowing when or if society will return to normal is debilitating. Others are amped up about restrictions on personal freedoms and commerce. Even the most cool-headed of us is experiencing uncertainty on some level. Whichever concerns we carry, we are all processing these circumstances the same way: via the brains amygdala region, the emotional center.

    Now, if the average adult is experiencing fear, anger, or other negative emotions in response to the way life has changed during this health crisis, imagine what a person living with dementia may be experiencing.

    The Negative Effects Of Statins On The Brain

    02/04/2019 / By Tracey Watson

    Statin drugs, prescribed by doctors to reduce high cholesterol levels and supposedly prevent heart attacks and strokes, are the second most prescribed drugs in the world, after the painkiller hydrocodone. Since one in five Americans between the ages of 40 and 75 take these drugs regularly, it is likely that you are acquainted with at least one person who is doing so.

    Nonetheless, even though doctors hand out statins like candy, several studies have confirmed that they carry serious side effects. And the vast majority of patients are blissfully unaware of just how dangerous and indeed, ineffective they are.

    One of the greatest concerns raised by experts is the potential for statins to cause damage to the brain, triggering memory loss and dementia.

    Read Also: Why Do People Get Brain Freeze

    The Link Between Increased Statin Use And The Dementia Epidemic

    As noted by the organization Be Brain Fit , there has been a massive increase in the number of Americans taking statin drugs like Crestor and Lipitor in recent years. At the same time, there has been an astronomical increase in the number of people experiencing memory loss, dementia and Alzheimers disease, which is now the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. BBF suggests that these two statistics may be no coincidence.

    People are generally only told about the link between cholesterol and heart disease, but cholesterol also has incredibly important functions in the body. It is found in particularly high concentrations in the brain, with more than 60 percent of this important organ consisting of fat. The brain uses cholesterol to manufacture neurotransmitters, the chemicals which enable brain cells to communicate with each other. Neurotransmitters are also responsible for regulating mood, as well as facilitating focus and the ability to remember things, learn new things and cope with stress.

    When normal neurotransmitter activity is disrupted, psychiatric disorders and nervous system diseases can be triggered.

    For this reason, doctors admit that high cholesterol levels help prevent dementia in the elderly but will not admit the inverse: that low cholesterol levels can be linked to an increased risk of Alzheimers and other forms of dementia.

    Dementia Symptoms And Areas Of The Brain

    Understanding Dementia: The Brain and Dementia

    Knowing how different types of dementia affect the brain helps explain why someone with dementia might behave in a certain way.

  • You are here: Dementia symptoms and areas of the brain
  • Dementia and the brain

    Until recently, seeing changes in the brain relied on studying the brain after the person had died. But modern brain scans may show areas of reduced activity or loss of brain tissue while the person is alive. Doctors can study these brain scans while also looking at the symptoms that the person is experiencing.

    The most common types of dementia each start with shrinkage of brain tissue that may be restricted to certain parts of the brain.

    You May Like: Does Everyone Get Brain Freeze

    What Are The Most Common Types Of Dementia

    • Alzheimers disease. This is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of cases. It is caused by specific changes in the brain. The trademark symptom is trouble remembering recent events, such as a conversation that occurred minutes or hours ago, while difficulty remembering more distant memories occurs later in the disease. Other concerns like difficulty with walking or talking or personality changes also come later. Family history is the most important risk factor. Having a first-degree relative with Alzheimers disease increases the risk of developing it by 10 to 30 percent.
    • Vascular dementia. About 10 percent of dementia cases are linked to strokes or other issues with blood flow to the brain. Diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are also risk factors. Symptoms vary depending on the area and size of the brain impacted. The disease progresses in a step-wise fashion, meaning symptoms will suddenly get worse as the individual gets more strokes or mini-strokes.
    • Lewy body dementia. In addition to more typical symptoms like memory loss, people with this form of dementia may have movement or balance problems like stiffness or trembling. Many people also experience changes in alertness including daytime sleepiness, confusion or staring spells. They may also have trouble sleeping at night or may experience visual hallucinations .

    Who Does Dementia Affect

    More than 920,000 people in the UK are living with dementia a number expected to rise to over a million by 2024 .

    The vast majority of people with dementia are aged 65 and over, accounting for over 880,000 people. However, an estimated 40,000 people under 65 are living with dementia in the UK .

    • there are over 25,000 people with dementia from black and minority ethnic groups in England and Wales, and this is estimated to rise to nearly 50,000 by 2026
    • there are 209,600 new cases of dementia in the UK each year
    • worldwide, around 50 million people are currently estimated to have dementia and there are 10 million new cases each year
    • two thirds of people with dementia are women and over 600,000 women in the UK are now living with dementia. The condition is the leading cause of death in women in the UK.

    According to Alzheimers Disease International, the total estimated worldwide cost of dementia was US $1 trillion in 2018. If dementia care were a country, it would be the worlds 18th largest economy . If dementia care were a company, it would be the worlds largest by annual revenue exceeding Apple, Google and Exxon.

    Recommended Reading: Serotonin Wiki

    More articles

    Popular Articles