Dementia definition
Dementia Definition

Dementia Definition, 5 Types, and Complications

Dementia Definition

Dementia is a disease that results in a decrease in memory and way of thinking. This condition has an impact on the lifestyle, social skills, and daily activities of the sufferer.

The most common types of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. Alzheimer’s is a dementia associated with genetic changes and protein changes in the brain. Meanwhile, vascular dementia is a type of dementia caused by disorders in the blood vessels of the brain.

What is dementia types?

According to the National Institute on Aging website, there are several types of dementia (senile disease), among which are:

Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. As evidenced by about 60-80 percent of all dementia cases occupied by Alzheimer’s disease, a small percentage of cases are related to parent-to-child gene mutations.

One of the genes that inherits a high risk of this disease is apolipoprotein E4 (APOE). While other cases may occur due to the presence of plaque (protein clots) to the brain.

Vascular dementia

Vascular dementia is a disorder of brain function caused by reduced blood flow in the brain. The condition can be caused by the build-up of plaque in the arteries.

Whereas normally, these blood vessels should serve as a supplier of blood to the brain. Stroke or other disorders can be the cause of problems in these blood vessels.

Lewy body dementia

Lewy body dementia is a condition characterized by the appearance of protein deposits in nerve cells in the brain. As a result, the function of the brain to deliver chemical signals throughout the body is also inhibited..

That’s why people who experience this usually have a decrease in memory, and the response tends to be slow. Lewy body dementia is one of the most common types of progressive dementia.

Frontotemporal dementia

Frontotemporal dementia is a group of diseases characterized by damage to nerve cells in the temporal frontal lobe of the brain, namely in the front. This part of the brain is generally responsible for regulating personality, behavior, and speech (language) skills.

Combination of dementia

This senile disease is a combination of two or more types of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and Lewy body disease.

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Signs of dementia

Dementia Complications

Untreated dementia can lead to complications such as:

Insufficient nutrition

Many people with senile dementia will reduce or stop eating and drinking eventually. They may forget to eat and think that they have eaten.

Changes in mealtimes or noise disturbances around them can also interfere with their eating activities. Often, senile or severe dementia makes it lose control of the muscles used to chew and swallow.

This can create a risk of choking or entering food into the lungs. If this happens, it can block breathing and cause inflammation of the lungs.]

Decreased hygiene

In the case of moderate to severe dementia, the sufferer may lose his ability to perform his daily tasks independently. A person can become incapable of bathing, dressing, washing hair, brushing teeth, or using the toilet on their own.

Difficulty taking medicine

This condition greatly affects the ability to remember people with dementia. Therefore, remembering to take the correct amount of medicine at the right time can be a challenge in itself.

Emotional health setbacks

Dementia can change behavior and personality. Some of these changes can be caused by impaired brain function.

While other behavioral and personality changes may be caused by emotional reactions in the face of changes occurring in the brain. Dementia can lead to depression, aggressiveness, confusion, frustration, anxiety, and disorientation disorders.

Difficulty communicating

As dementia increases, sufferers can lose the ability to remember people’s names and objects as well as problems communicating with others or understanding others. This disruption in communication can lead to feelings of anxiety, isolation, and depression.

Delusions and hallucinations

Sufferers can experience delusions, i.e. wrong ideas / thoughts about others or existing situations. Some people, especially people with dementia who can have visual hallucinations.

Difficulty sleeping

A person can have trouble sleeping, such as waking up too early. Some may have a restless limb syndrome or rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorders that can affect sleep.

Personal safety concerns

Due to the reduced ability to make decisions and solve problems, some everyday situations can lead to insecurity for people with dementia. For example, when driving, cooking, falling, getting lost, and overcoming obstacles.


Last Updated on April 8, 2021 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team


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