Understand the process and experience of dementia
Describe a range of causes of dementia syndrome.
Dementia is a term used for over 130 diseases that effect memory, behaviour and motor skills. Causes of these diseases may vary but are largely caused by the presence of 'plaques' and 'tangles' on the neurons in the brain. Plaques are proteins that the body can no longer break down which causes a build up, they get between the neurons and confuses message transmissions. The tangles are the proteins inside neurons that become abnormal. In Korsakoff's disease long term abuse of alcohol is usually to blame. In vascular dementia, strokes and blood clots cause neurons to function abnormally to the effected area of the brain, which is usually at the front of the skull above the eyes, this effects inhibition and judgement. Causes of Lewy dementia is usually caused by abnormal clusters of proteins on parts of the brain that cause Parkinson like symptoms. Whereas Pick's disease will usually occur after heavy trauma to the front section of the brain, the disease starts out with personality and behavioural changes shortly followed by memory loss. Although dementia is not nessisarily hereditary if a parent has a form of dementia a child is more likely to develope it in their lifetime.
Describe the types of memory impairment commonly experienced by individuals with dementia. Every type of dementia has different types of memory impairments aswell as oher impairments effecting commuication and bodily functions. Plaques and tangles tend to form in the areas of the brain that are responsible for memory, but as the dementia progresses the formations start to spread to other parts of the brain leading to additional problems such as thinking and language. The most common first sign of most dementia diseases is a memory disfunction for example: individuals may find it difficult to remember a converstation they just had by having a pause for a few minutes to process the information. Also individuals with a dementia disease find it difficult to plan and organise activities and in the later stages find it difficult to recognise family and friends, their environment and visual information. Sometimes plaques and tangles form in other parts of the brain responsible for language and visuospatial processing but leave the parts that effect memory clear. Two examples are: PCA posterior cortical atrophy and LPA logopenic progressive aphasia. PCA usually effects the ability to process visual and spatial information while LPA causes problems with speech production and language processing. These diseases are much less common than the typical memory impaired form of dementia.
Explain the way that individuals process information with reference to the abilities and limitations of individuals with dementia. Dementia effects certain parts of the brain and when this happens it causes confusion, halusinations and behaviour changes. This can be very distressing to family members and carers but it is a natural part of the individuals memory loss and dementia. The individual with dementia may be trying to interpret a world that no longer makes any sense to them because their brain is processing information incorrectly aswell as the individual and others aroud them will misinterpret each others attempts at communication. The individual may take long pauses to process information and shortly after the conversatoin will forget or talk about something completly off topic. For example individuals with dementia often confuse generations i.e. mistaking their brother for their father and can get very upset when told otherwise,they can sometimes think that they are younger and they are with family that had passed away many years proir.
Explain how other factors can cause changes in an individuals condition that may not attribute to dementia. It is very common that when people get older they often become forgetful, this is not nessasarily due to dementia. There are...
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