Dementia Treatment Hospital In Delhi
Dementia is a category of diseases related to slow functioning of the brain in which the patient shows signs of gradual decline in the ability to think and remember. This category of the disease affects the daily functioning of an individual. According to a dementia treatment centre in India, approximately 8.8 million Indians more than 60 years of age are living with dementia.
Types Of Dementia
Dementia is caused by abnormal changes in the brain. These changes cause a gradual decline in thinking skills severe enough to have a drastic effect on the everyday activities of a human being. Dementia can be of the following types:
1. Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer’s is the most common dementia caused by changes in the cerebral cortex of the brain. The cerebral cortex is responsible for language, reasoning, and social behaviour. Alzheimer’s is when a person cannot remember something that occurred a moment ago. Patients can go as far as not being able to remember their own identities. During the later stage of the disease, a person can face issues such as difficulty in speaking and walking and some distinct changes in their personality.
2. Lewy body dementia
This dementia is characterized by the build-up of abnormal protein deposits inside the brain. In addition to memory loss, people suffering from Lewy body dementia suffer from loss of balance and movement. The decline in alertness and attention with visual hallucinations are common signs of Lewy body dementia. People affected may also face issues with speaking and understanding.
This dementia is normally characterised by damage to the nerves caused by the deficient blood supply to parts of the brain. Blood vessels, when get affected, can cause strokes or damage brain fibres. A characteristic feature of this dementia is losing the ability to focus or affecting the problem-solving abilities of a person.
4. Fronto temporal
Changes in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain are seen in this type of dementia. These areas of the brain are associated with language, behaviour and personality. Once affected by frontotemporal dementia, a person doesn’t think before speaking, often embarrassing themselves. Difficulty in understanding may also be experienced by patients.
5. Mixed dementia
People in their old age may suffer from multiple types of dementia. For example, a person suffering from Alzheimer’s may even suffer from Lewy body dementia. The symptoms of different dementia overlap further deteriorating the condition of the patient.
Symptoms Of Dementia
Dementia symptoms can vary depending on the type of dementia. Some common signs and symptoms are:
- Memory loss, misjudgement, and confusion.
- Difficulty in clarity of thought while communicating, writing or understanding.
- Taking more than usual to complete daily tasks.
- Difficulty in walking.
- Impaired social skills.
- Experiencing hallucinations and delusions
- Depression and anxiety
Dementia is caused due to damaged brain cells. When these damaged brain cells fail to connect, the message transmission from one nerve to another is obstructed. The coordination of the activities carried out by the brain gets affected, unable to perform normal functions like thinking, talking, and taking decisions. The following conditions can cause dementia:
- Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia.
- Genetically inherited: some disorders that cause dementia run in families.
- Certain traumatic head injuries can lead to cognitive impairment, leading to dementia.
- Infections like meningitis, HIV and syphilis can trigger dementia.
- Smoking and alcohol abuse can deteriorate brain functioning and may even lead to brain damage.
- Nutritional deficiencies like low levels of vitamin B12 and vitamin D deficiency are associated with the risk of dementia.
- Depression can be a risk factor or an early sign of dementia.
How To Diagnose Dementia?
To diagnose dementia, there is no one definite test, rather multiple tests are conducted to find out about the condition of the patient so that further treatment can be prescribed. Psychiatric evaluation, laboratory test, neurological evaluation, neuropsychological and cognitive tests and scans of the brain like MRI, CT and PET scans are some tests to zero in on the accurate condition of the patient.
In addition to this, family history, medication history and prior illnesses are checked to consider all factors before prescribing treatment.
Due to the neurodegenerative process being irreversible, there is no cure for dementia, however, the treatment depends on the condition that is causing dementia. Drug therapies and non-drug therapies are both helpful in controlling the condition.
Alzheimer’s disease has no cure, however, the symptoms can be controlled to some extent by medication. Medicines like donepezil can minimize the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Removing beta-amyloid from the brain reduces the decline of mental functions and cognitive abilities in people living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Some medicines that can be used to treat dementia are:- donepezil, rivastigmine, galantamine, and memantine. These medicines can also be used to treat Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.
In many patients, the symptoms of dementia do not require medication and can be treated with the help of therapies.
Cognitive stimulation therapy is beneficial for those who have mild to moderate dementia. This therapy is the only psychological treatment recommended by National Institute For Health And Care Excellence (NICE) , Manchester, United Kingdom. In this therapy, there is an immense amount of group activities and exercises essentially aimed at improving memory, problem-solving and language skills.The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is a public body of the Department of Health and Social Care in the United Kingdom. It provides national guidance and advice to improve the health of individuals adhering to social care.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is a talking therapy which aims at understanding the link between thoughts, behaviour and feelings. The centre of focus here is the specific behaviour of the person and how to address that behaviour. However, this therapy is not effective for everyone as people with dementia might face problems in language abilities, rendering talking therapy of no use.
Some additional therapies to manage mild dementia symptoms include:
- Music therapy: To listen to soulful music and relaxing songs.
- Pet therapy: To improve mood and behaviour by petting animals.
- Aroma therapy: To make use of the natural fragrance of plant oils to uplift moods.
- Art therapy: To create art pieces to soothe and calm the mind.
‘Prevention is better than cure’. To keep your brain healthy, it becomes imperative to keep the mind more active by practising challenging puzzles, sudoku and other mind games. Dementia can be prevented by keeping the following factors in mind:
- Maintain optimal cardiovascular health
Our brain health is directly linked to our cardiovascular system. So to keep the brain healthy, you should keep your blood pressure, sugar, and cholesterol level in check.
- Healthy diet
According to research, Vitamin D deficiency is one of the leading causes of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Regular sun exposure along with consuming appropriate nutrients is a preventive measure to keep your body healthy and disease free.
- Quit smoking and alcohol
Alcohol is responsible for slowing down the brain. Quitting smoking might reduce the risk of developing dementia. Giving up alcohol can help in improving memory function.
- Exercising and good quality sleep
Regular exercising and practising yoga can lessen the symptoms of depression, anxiety and mental health problems. Exercise can increase blood and oxygen flow towards the brain, thereby reducing the risks of dementia.
According to research, people who slept for less than five hours per night are more prone to developing dementia in their lives. Disturbance in the sleep cycle is responsible for making changes in the brain that can lead to problems like dementia. Therefore, a good night’s sleep is essential for everyone.
- Effective control of issues such as chronic hypertension
Hypertension can increase your blood pressure. Uncontrolled blood pressure can form blood clots in arteries leading to the brain, blocking the flow of blood, and potentially leading to stroke or conditions like dementia. It's very crucial to keep your blood pressure in check to not fall prey to dementia.
- Encouraging social interactions
People should join social group activities and sessions, or any kind of hobby classes, where they get a chance to interact with different people. This can significantly improve the cognitive abilities and functioning of the brain.
Dementia Risk Factors
Dementia can be passed on in people who have a history of such conditions in their families. Having pre-existing medical conditions like high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension and excessive smoking and alcohol consumption are some risk factors that increase an individual’s risk for dementia.
As far as possible, dementia patients should be kept in a home environment, surrounded by relatives and loved ones. As the disease progresses, they might need institutionalised care. The advantage of providing a homely environment is:
- Such patients can be forgetful and at times forget to perform daily chores like eating, taking a bath, etc. Hence, they require extra care.
- Proper emotional and physical support provided at home is of paramount importance.
Dementia Professional Care
Dementia care centres in Delhi are the best institutions to seek help and guidance from if you are looking for treatment for dementia. When it comes to dementia, it is always recommended that professional care be provided to the patient. Home care is often not possible due to the following reasons:
- Nuclear working family.
- Family members are not equipped to handle challenges.
- Sometimes dementia patients leave their houses and forget their way back. A caregiver must be present at home or the family members are forced to lock the dementia patient.
Dr Rekha Khandelwal of Vardaan Senior Centre in Malviya Nagar, Delhi says that in an institution such persons can find emotional support and meet people with similar issues. So far family members must play the role of caregivers for patients, but because of changing lifestyles and migrating families, there is a need for dementia care centres so that the loved ones can lead a normal life and the family members are also relieved.
For queries contact: docRekha@gmail.com