Scientists have proved that every three seconds there is a new patient with dementia. To date, this is approximately five percent of older people. According to new calculations, the number of people with this diagnosis by the year 2050 will grow in 2.5 times, that is, 132 million people. Previously, another figure was predicted - 112 million people. Scientists noted that it is often identified with Alzheimer's disease. In fact, it arises as a consequence even before the Alzheimer's disease that has arisen in a person, in 60-70% of cases it becomes a factor in the development of dementia, in other cases the cause of it can be another violation, for example, a stroke.
Lonely people are more susceptible to depression and cardiovascular diseases, so they have more risk factors for the development of this ailment. And as the number of lonely people in the world is constantly growing, the number of those who will develop senile dementia will also grow. Studies on a 10-year follow-up period showed that unmarried patients living alone can represent a risk group.
Who is more susceptible to dementia - men or women? What is the cause?
Statistics vary depending on the type of dementia. For example, Alzheimer's disease is more spread in women, dementia with Levi bodies - for men. A person, who begins to develop this ailment, starts several times a day to shave, collect some items, and ask the same questions. The reason is the extinction of brain cells. At the same time, external factors can be both a prerequisite for the described symptoms, and an intensifying element. Depression, by the way, is also a symptom of dementia. Changes in mood, change in character, apathy, lethargy, confusion, problems with orientation in space, loss of thread of conversation - all these are also alarming symptoms.
Is the disease transmitted from parents to children?
Inheritance plays an important role in the development of front-temporal dementia. Alzheimer's diagnosis with an early onset (up to 65 years) has a high incidence of inheritance, because it is usually associated with a mutation in three genes. If your close relative is ill with this disease with a late onset, the chances of developing this problem in you grow compared to a person who does not have close relatives with such diagnosis. However, this does not mean that the disease is inevitable for you.
How does this disease develop and manifest itself?
It belongs to the list of diseases that cause behavioral disorders. The defeat of logical and abstract thinking does not allow patients to perform daily duties and makes their self-service impossible. In the beginning it leads to drawbacks, which at first glance seem physical - a decrease in mobility, difficulties in using objects of everyday life. Cognitive and physical insolvency of patients deprives them of their ability to live independently and makes them dependent on extraneous care. One of the most difficult moments associated with disease dementia is a variety of behavioral disorders: wandering, repeated questions, walking after, aggression, apathy, sleep disturbance, resistance to help in daily activities. Very often unpredictable actions of patients become the cause of accidents. This behavior leads to a heavy burden of burns for the sick, despair of caretakers and depression, excessive fatigue and exhaustion. Patients have problems with words (understanding, choice of words), and with the formation of concepts, there are also difficulties with language, communication, with simple computing operations, with planning and with motor skills, memory worsens dramatically. The gradual loss of the ability to memorize complicates the relationship and the opportunity to communicate with other people: the patient forgets about the appointments, does not recognize the interlocutors, cannot orientate in a newly familiar environment, and cannot find the right words. At the beginnig communication with the patient becomes a kind of test. Interlocutors often find it difficult to understand what patients are doing and what they are talking about. Aggression, crying, excessive desire to move, and even passive detachment and depressive behavior can all be an attempt to express an emotional need or desire for communication. During the conversation, the patient is often unable to understand the meaning of what was heard and create concepts due to disruption of associative connections. Because of this, patients have special semantic concepts, different from the real content, difficulties with logical thinking in making decisions.
Often, patients with dementia do not recognize their children, but remember their parents. Why is that?
The first to forget the recent events of the patient's life, in the future, memory begins to suffer from long-standing events. With the progression of the disease, the process ends with a general amnesia. The patient reproduces well the memories of childhood and youth and at the same time cannot remember what he/she ate for breakfast. It happens that the patient did not forget the event, but it was "incorrectly recorded" in the memory. Recent events, reinforcement of vivid and strong emotions, both negative and positive, are stored in memory and reproduced.
Is it possible to completely treat people with such diagnosis? How does the disease affect life expectancy?
Unfortunately, now there are no effective medicines that can cure or at least stop the progression of dementia. Over the past ten years, a large number of clinical studies have been carried out, but no remedy has been found but there are drugs that can alleviate the symptoms and slow down progress of the disease. They are needed by the patient, even if there is no chance of a cure. Medicines can temporarily remove a number of symptoms or slow their development. If we talk about symptoms in the cognitive sphere (memory, speech, thinking), then the delay in the disorders caused by drugs can prolong communication with the patient for years. Is this communicate worth of the money spent on medicine, it's up to you. As for behavioral symptoms, then from their manifestation, close people suffer no less than the patient himself (insomnia, aggression ...). Although doctors do not recommend abusing these drugs, sometimes their reception is the only way to fix an unfavorable situation.