Following specialists treat Dementia. Help us improve our data based on your experience.
Specialty scores for Dementia
Dementia is a major neurocognitive disorder characterized by a significant decline in multiple cognitive domains. The impairment in addition to memory and recall should occur in at least one of the following core mental functions:
The functional damage is of sufficient magnitude to compromise an individual's activities of daily living.
For the diagnosis of probable Alzheimer's, the criteria suggested by the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke and Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association (NINCDS-ADRDA) include:
Dementia affects about 50 million of the population. It is most common in elderly individuals; age being the most important predictor of dementia. However, some sporadic cases of early onset Alzheimer's disease can occur under the age of 65 years. The incidence of this neurodegenerative disorder doubles with every 5-year increase in age.
Abnormalities in 3 genes are known to cause AD. Amyloid precursor protein (APP), presenilin-1 (PSEN1), and presenilin-2 (PSEN2). A majority of the neurodegenerative disorders possess both the sporadic and the autosomal-dominant traits for genetic abnormalities. The common sporadic form of AD tends to be less severe than the rare autosomal-dominant forms.
Vascular dementia is due to brain cell death caused by conditions such as cerebrovascular disease or stroke. This prevents normal blood flow, depriving brain cells of oxygen and life.
In AD, there is progressive atrophy and gliosis, predominantly in the the hippocampus and mesial temporal lobe (the memory and cognitive areas). The two histological hallmarks of AD are the deposition of extracellular amyloid plaques and intraneuronal aggregates of tau protein, called neurofibrillary tangles.
Patients with dementia are incapable of making decisions and adhering to treatment plans. A careful discussion with the patient's caregiver is, therefore, of utmost importance. Given the overlapping of symptoms, one type of dementia should be appropriately distinguished from the other and treated accordingly. Apart from a meticulous history, dementia diagnosis also warrants a thorough physical and MRI examination. It is also essential to address the behavioral problems in patients with dementia. Physical rehabilitation is as important as cognitive rehabilitation.
Medications approved for the treatment of AD primarily include cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine. These alleviate the symptoms but do not reverse the brain damage or stop it from progressing.