Dementia is a mental disorder that is chronic or persistent. A few of the symptoms of this disorder include personality changes, lapses in memory, and impaired capabilities such as reasoning. In short, dementia is not a specific disease but an array of symptoms which can be attributed to a number of causes.
Reversible and non-reversible dementia
Dementia can be caused by various factors. Some of these causes can be treated while others are beyond treatment. The dementia that is treatable is termed reversible dementia and the one that cannot be treated per se is termed irreversible dementia or non-reversible dementia.
- The treatment for reversible dementia aims to delay the progress of the disease and, in certain exceptional cases, can even reverse the symptoms.
- For non-reversible dementia, on the other hand, the treatment is intended to treat certain symptoms such that it makes daily living a little easier and manageable for the patients.
Causes and Cure
The causes of dementia are what classify the mental disorder as non-reversible or reversible.
Reversible dementia could be due to one of the following causes:
Various forms of dementia are caused by excessive consumption of alcohol either intermittently or consistently. This is because heavy drinking leads to liver disease, malnutrition, or vitamin deficiency, all of which result in damage of the brain.
Vitamin-rich proper diet and staying away from alcohol can reverse early signs of dementia or abate the disease.
Injury to head
Auto accidents or a fall can lead to head injuries such that the external force hits the skull and thereby damages the brain. The decline in brain functioning and cognition post-injury is termed dementia.
Brain function can be restored or improved even 5 years after the injury by rehabilitation and emotional support.
This is a condition in which cerebrospinal liquid abnormally builds up in the internal brain spaces. This fluid leads to harmful pressure which causes dementia. The condition is further accompanied by loss of mental [word missing here—acuity?] and incontinence.
If diagnosed early, the fluid can be diverted by using a tube called a shunt, thereby relieving the pressure.
Non-reversible dementia is caused by one of the following:
Dementia is caused at a later stage in Parkinson’s disease, especially in the elderly. This dementia leads to impaired memory, reasoning, judgment, and even impaired speech in some patients. All this is accompanied by characteristic limb stiffness associated with Parkinson’s.
Presently, there is no cure available for these conditions.
Vascular dementia is when the blood flow to the brain is interrupted due to multiple strokes. This form of dementia is the second most common form.
There is no treatment for this type of dementia, but its progress can be hindered by treating diabetes, blood pressure, and heart disease.
This disease is the most common cause of dementia with no treatment or cure. Gradual loss of the brain’s nerve cells takes place in the condition, which leads to impaired brain functions, such as memory and judgment.
As noted, it cannot be cured. But if diagnosed early, the symptoms can be managed with disease management techniques and drugs.