Over the past few years, dementia has become one of the main subjects of study for many doctors and researchers. What causes dementia, the best treatments and how to deal with the patients are just three of the questions that research looks to answer.
Most people are aware that dementia involves memory loss. Little by little, the person we used to know disappears in his/her memories. Eventually, they may lose all ability to communicate and understand and become more and more dependent on the care giver. Dementia tends to be associated with old people, but it can affect adults around their 40’s as well.
The most expensive part of the treatment for people who have a form of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s, is not the cost of the medicines, but the cost of daily care that is needed. The cost of care is often taken on by the families of the affected, and this can be a very heavy burden.
According to WorldLifeExpectancy.com, the prevalence of Alzheimer’s by country indicates that European and developed countries are on top of the list for dementia. This may be due to a higher life expectancy. In some of these countries, life expectancy is more than 80 years. Whereas in countries where life expectancy is lower, Alzheimer’s is also lower.
Some say that this is not only because of the high life expectancy but also because, in order to maintain a certain number of brain cells, the brain needs to be active. If the person continues to be active after retirement or don’t retire, the effects of dementia can slow down.
Another possible way to reduce the effects of dementia is a diet rich in vitamin B12. Often a deficiency in this vitamin provokes neurological problems, memory loss or lack of concentration. All these symptoms can be mistaken for dementia when, in reality, it is a B12 deficiency. Long term B12 deficiency can cause irreversible damage.
Whether Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, patients can be scared because they don’t know what is happening around them. They may also be ashamed because of their behaviour and sometimes even depressed because they cannot make themselves understood.
The relatives and people caring for a person with dementia will have to overcome the many new situations that they are put in, and learn to be sympathetic towards them.