Human Development 101
California State University, San Marcos
Dementia, according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary is “a usually progressive condition marked by deteriorated cognitive functioning often with emotional apathy.” Dementia isn’t a disease, but rather an assortment and variety of mental impairment that causes an individual to think in an unusual sense. Dementia branches off into different sections. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is an example of Dementia, which is brain damage that causes mental reduction of movement and thought. A more common form of dementia is Alzheimer's disease, which progressively gets worse as time passes and is marked by memory loss, uncontrolled thinking, and odd behavior. More than 5 million people throughout America are affected by Alzheimer's disease. The age range mostly affects people 65 years or older, but things such as head injuries, gender, and genetic compound also contribute to those affected with Alzheimer's disease. Dementia can occur in more than 12 forms, and some cannot be cured, such as Alzheimer's disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Memory loss is the most common symptom of any form of dementia and can be found in all forms of it as well. Memory loss isn’t what causes dementia though. Dementia is caused by at least 2 or more areas of brain damage, whether it may be due to physical activity or progressive aging and the deteriorating of brain cells. Many people with any type of form of dementia become confused and their thinking abilities become slurred and impaired. Friends and family may even forget the names of those they’ve known all their life if dementia inhibits their lives. Behavior becomes abnormal to their daily life before and their personalities may change dramatically. Dementia causes a person to forget the things and people around them, as well possibly think that the world around them isn’t what it seems. Some people may dub these characteristics of an individual with dementia as a type of insanity and craziness. Every 68 seconds, a person develops Alzheimer's disease, according to ALZ. Org. The numbers are so alarming that scientists predict that by the year 2050, the number of people living with Alzheimer's disease right now could triple in size. Alzheimer's disease is fatal and is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States alone.
The cause of dementia is linked with damaged nerve cells within the brain that can occur in different areas of the brain as well. Physical damage, such as falling on one’s head, could possibly contribute to brain damage. Intake of outside substances, such as medication, pills, cough syrup, can also trigger a reaction that can cause dementia, though it can be treated, unlike major progressive forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease. Aging is a huge factor with dementia as well. Those 65 years of age or older have a higher chance of being diagnosed with dementia, due to the aging and weakening of brain cells and body tissue. Some symptoms of dementia are memory loss, personality change, paranoia, hallucinations, and difficulty coordinating their senses, such as speech and direction. Each symptom comes differently, depending on the type of dementia an individual has. Someone with Alzheimer's disease is bound to develop memory loss and paranoia. It is different for each form of dementia, though there are similar spots of symptoms throughout them all. Many people tend to spot these symptoms early, especially with a loved one. Behavior change and personality change may mark signs of dementia progressing. With Alzheimer's disease, the mental capacity and motor skills gradually diminish. Memory, judgment, sense of direction, language and spatial abilities become lower than what they used to be, according to Mayoclinic.com. Most types of dementia cannot be cured, but doctors have found ways and medications that can keep symptoms in check. One type of medication that...