Page 4 - Miles for Memories Dementia Booklet 2022
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 Explaining Dementia –
More than Memory Loss
Dementia is not a specific disease but rather it describes a group of symptoms that may accompany certain diseases or conditions.
everyone with MCI will develop Alzheimer’s. People with MCI can still take care of them- selves and perform their normal activities. MCI memory problems may include losing things often; forgetting to go to events or appointments; or problems communicating because of difficulty finding words.
The person with Alzheimer’s disease may have difficulty remembering recent conversations, names, or events. This is often an early indicator along with apathy and depression. As the disease progresses communication may become impaired, poor judgment may be exhibited, along with disorientation, confusion, behavior changes, and difficulty walking, speaking, or swallowing.
For most people with Alzheimer’s – those who have the late-onset variety
– symptoms first appear in their mid-60s or later. When the disease develops before age 65, it’s considered early-onset Alz- heimer’s, which can begin as early as a person’s 30s, although this is rare.
Alzheimer’s typically progresses clin- ically in several stages: preclinical, mild (sometimes called early-stage), moderate, and severe (sometimes called late-stage).
Preclinical Alzheimer’s disease – Re- search suggests that the complex brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s, such as the formation of amyloid plaques or tau tangles, start a decade or more before memory and thinking problems appear. This stage, in which changes in the brain appear before the onset of dementia, is called preclinical Alzheimer’s. However, it’s
Dementia is a general term that indi- cates a loss of memory and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with activities of daily living. It is caused by physical changes in the brain that may result from a variety of different causes. There are more than 100 types of dementia but only a few that are more common.
Dementia is not a normal part of aging. Sometimes symptoms associated with dementia are reversible, especially when they are caused by conditions resulting from depression, vitamin deficiencies, thyroid problems, medications, infection, loss of oxygen to the brain, traumatic brain injury, and more. If you recognize moments where your memory seems challenged,
an evaluation is the best first option. The sooner you can identify the cause of the symptoms, the sooner you can start feeling better, or possibly, identify ways to slow
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down the progression. See more about diagnosis starting on page 6.
The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which comprises 60-80% of cases. Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by a loss of function and death of nerve cells in several areas of the brain. This loss of function leads to a loss of independence as it relates to activities of daily living such as cooking, driving, money management, or more basic daily activities like dressing and hygiene. Ultimately, it
can lead to the loss of mental functions, such as memory and learning. There is no known cure but there is increasing evi- dence that they are things we can do that may prevent or slow the progression of the disease.
Some people have a condition called mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which can be an early sign of Alzheimer’s. However, not
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