Dem 301

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Understand the process and experience of dementia
DEM 301
Outcome 1
Describe a range of causes of dementia syndrome.
Alzheimer's disease
This is the most common cause of dementia. During the course of the disease, the chemistry and structure of the brain changes, leading to the death of brain cells. Vascular dementia
If the oxygen supply to the brain fails, brain cells may die. The symptoms of vascular dementia can occur either suddenly, following a stroke, or over time, through a series of small strokes. Describe the types of memory impairment commonly experienced by individuals with dementia Memory problems are usually the most obvious symptom in people with dementia. Someone with dementia may not know common facts when questioned. Language problems can also develop. For example, someone with dementia may have difficulty understanding what is said to them or understanding written information. New surroundings and new people may confuse a person with dementia: they can become easily disorientated. Even clever people who develop dementia find it difficult to grasp new ideas or learn new skills. Changes in mood, behaviour and personality and problems carrying out day-to-day activities. We have two types of memories that may be affected episodic memory where we store events in reference to time, individuals with dementia may find it hard to remember events that have happed or of which have been planned. We also have semantic memory, where we store facts; with a individual with dementia they would find it hard to store facts for day to day lives. So far, no one single factor has been identified as a cause for Alzheimer's disease. It is likely that a combination of factors, including age, genetic inheritance, environmental factors, diet and overall general health, are responsible. In some people, the disease may develop silently for many years before symptoms appear and the onset of clinical disease may require a trigger. People with conditions such as high blood pressure, heart problems, high cholesterol and diabetes are more at risk of developing vascular dementia. It is therefore recommended that these conditions are identified and treated as soon as possible. Explain the way that individuals process information with reference to the abilities and limitations of individuals with dementia The brain is made up of billions of nerve cells that are called neurons. The activity of these neurons is how the brain works. For example, to control movements, the brain can send messages along neurons to different areas of the brain or to parts of the body. Alzheimer's disease changes the structure of your brain and causes your brain cells to die. It also affects the connections between brain cells, which means that nerve messages aren't passed on properly. Over time, as more and more areas of your brain become damaged, your symptoms will get progressively worse. This is about how an individual with dementia listen to what they are being told then think about it, mull it over, work out how the feel about it. A person with dementia can find it hard to listen as their ability to concentrate can be poor, moreover the part of the brain that process words and speech can be diminished. To be able to understand and to work out how they feel about the information they have been given to them can also be difficult for a person with dementia. As even if they understand the words they may not understand what is meant by them and how they feel about what they have been told, as the individuals thought process can be hampered by the dementia. Explain how other factors can cause changes in an individual’s condition that may not be attributable to dementia. Many people become forgetful as they become older. This is common and is often not due to dementia. There are also other disorders such as depression and an underactive thyroid that can cause memory problems. Furthermore people of any age can be affected by delirium which can be caused by...
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