Dementia refers to a group of symptoms associated with the reduction and decline in mental ability and stability. It is caused by disorders impacting the brain, and are described by the collection of symptoms affecting the brain. People with Dementia face different kinds of difficulties affecting patients’ thinking, behaviour and social interaction ability. Also, sometimes people are not able to manage their functional as well as thinking abilities. Symptoms of dementia depend on the areas and functions of the brain affected by the underlying pathology e.g. vascular disease impacting particular vessels supplying a particular lobe of the brain. This problem can be traumatic and dangerous if ignored, so it is necessary to see the right physicians who can assist you and your loved ones with further medical assistance.
These days, Dementia neurodegenerative disease has no known cure and it is not part of the normal ageing process. It is characterised by changes in reasoning, memory, comprehension, behaviour and/or attention. As per some of statistics;
- At present, approx 75 percent of people are living with Dementia.
- This number is expected to be doubled over the next 25 years
- 25% of hospital beds are occupied by people over the age of 65 with dementia.
Causes and Symptoms of Dementia
Dementia risk factors can be categorised into modifiable and non-controllable risk factors. Controllable risk factors include physical inactivity, tobacco use, unhealthy diet and hazardous use of alcohol. Further, certain medical conditions are considerable but not limited to hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression and hypercholesterolemia. These potentially developed modifiable risk factors may majorly include social isolation and cognitive impairment. Non-modifiable risk factors for dementia are majorly uncontrollable which increase with time, age and genetics. Age is the primary task factor for dementia, although it is not a consequence of ageing while genetics factors may also increase such risks.
There are following risk factors which are evidenced-based, dangerous and health effective after the age of 60:
- Diabetes Mellitus. It is a major vascular risk factor for developing dementia through mechanisms such as glucose-mediated toxicity which causes microvascular abnormalities and neurodegeneration; also, evidence of impaired insulin receptor activation in Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia risk with diabetes is further enhanced with longer duration and leads to vascular dementia and cognitive impairment.
- Physical Inactivity. Exercising more in midlife is associated with lower risks of dementia. The more you fit, the more you keep yourself far away from dementia. Due to physical inactivity, people are not able to get rid of neurological disorders, vascular risk and other cognitive health impairments.
- Depression. Depression doubles with the risk factor and symptoms of dementia. It is biologically probable that depression increases the dementia risk as it affects stress hormones, neuronal growth factors, and hippocampal volume. It further reinforces the assertion that depression is a risk factor for dementia. High levels of depression may enhance the risk of stress, headaches, etc.
- Smoking. Smoking is believed to be associated with dementia which also leads to cognitive decline and enhances the impact of cardiovascular pathology. As per current study of physical activity, current smoking trends can increase the risk of dementia by the significant amount of 34%. This situation also leads to midlife hypertension too.
How Does Physical Therapy Help?
Diagnosis of the dementia subtype is critical for clinical management and anticipating the course of disease. Certain symptoms of dementia are diagnosed by highly professional medical experts by examining physical health, blood checkup and characteristic changes in thinking and behaviour. Physicians give the right diagnosis and treatment solutions by checking complete health and medical status that can affect performance of activities of daily living of patients.