Dementia is the general term for a medical disorder that changes the functioning of the brain. It primarily affects language, memory, and behavior. Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia. It is caused by the systematic disruption, or deterioration of structures in the brain, primarily areas that store memories. When a breakdown of cells has begun, the brain may have more difficulty creating new memories or accessing memories that were previously encoded.
Over four million people have been diagnosed with dementia in the United States alone, and this condition affects up to ten percent of the global population over the age of 65. Dementia is also found in younger individuals, but this is less common.
While memory can be impaired later in life, severe memory loss can be a sign of dementia. The most common signs of dementia are:
There are medications that can be helpful in treating dementia. Early diagnosis and treatment of dementia can sometimes lead to a patient living a symptom-free life.
While these medications have their benefits, side effects are also a possibility. While some patients experience no side effects, other may experience:
If side effects appear, patients should contact Dr. Boyd to schedule a medication consultation. If side effects are severe, contacting emergency services may be warranted.
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