Jan 11 2010

More Perspectives On Dementia

Dementia The rate of progression depends on the underlying causes. The duration of history helps establish the cause of dementia; Alzheimer’s disease is slowly progressive over years, whereas encephalitis may be rapid over weeks. Dementia due to cerebrovascular disease appears to occur “stroke by stroke”. As a rule, all types of dementia display a tendency to be accelerated by any changes in the environment, intercurrent infections or surgical procedures.

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common consequences of dementia, which can be established during life by the early memory failure and slow progression. Unfortunately, no effective treatment is known. Metabolic dementia can be caused by excessive alcohol consumption or chronic subdural haematoma. Improving the quality of life, there is some evidence that the herbal remedy can delay the progression of dementia and that long-term use of vitamin E may reduce the chances of developing dementia in old age. However, more research is needed.

There are several psychological techniques to help people cope with dementia, these include reality orientation, which involves regularly reminding patience of information such as the day, date, season and where they are. Since the memory of distant events is rarely impaired, reminiscence therapy which encourages people to talk about the past, may also help by bringing past experience into consciousness. Aromatherapy and art or music therapies are also thought to be beneficial, though there is no scientific evidence to support this.