What you need to know about dementia in the elderly?
Nearly five to eight percent of the global population above 65 years suffers from some kind of dementia, and the number doubles every five years above that age. Now, the question is what causes dementia symptoms to develop in the elderly. Dementia occurs due to damaged nerve cells in the brain that is the result of old age. Each dementia patient is affected differently, based on which part of the brain gets damaged. Damaged brain cells are unable to communicate with the other brain cells properly, as they affect feelings, memory, behavior, movement, and thinking. The most common biological cause of dementia is neurodegenerative, often leading to Alzheimer’s disease. Neurodegeneration gradually breaks down and eliminates the brain’s neurons. Over time, the dying brain cells lead to progressive and permanent decrease in physical and mental capabilities. The types of dementia that occur as a result of neurodegeneration include dementia with Lewy bodies, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, frontotemporal dementias, and Parkinson’s disease. Cerebrovascular damage from malformation, hemorrhaging or blockage is another biological cause behind the development of dementia symptoms in the elderly. These are mainly the result of heart disease, strokes, or the hardening of the blood vessels supplying the brain. The localized parts of the brain get destroyed due to the absence of oxygen and causes multi-infarct or vascular dementia. Infection-related problems occur due to parasites, bacteria, and virus that destroy brain cells. Dementia occurs in the later stages of rampant infections. Some common types of dementia that require treatment from infection include dementia associated with AIDS/HIV and Creutzfeldt-Jackob Disease (CJD) and other Prion Diseases.
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