Understand the neurology of dementia.
1.1 The causes of dementia are not yet fully understood but we do know that it is a deteriotation in mental functions which include memory, speach, judgement and orientation.The brain is a complex organ with over 100 billion cells. In dementia some of these cells stop working properly. The part of the brain this occurs in will affect how the person communicates, thinks, feels and remembers. Dementia can start in people well before the age of 65 this is called early onset dementia, but it is far more wide spread in the over 65 age group. Dementia is a major condition which affects over 820.000 people in the uk, but over 35 million people world wide have some form of dementia, with millions more ever year being diagnoses. Alzheimers disease; Alzheimers and dementia are not the same, Alzheimers is caused by nerve cells in the brain dying in certain areas and connections between affected nerve cells as the disease progresses deteriorate. The reason for this is not fully known, but research is on going. Vascular dementia; vascular dementia is caused by damage to the brain by lack of oxygen in the blood going through your veins and arteries, if this happens that organ will die the organ being your brain. Conditions which can cause vascular dementia are preventable, they include diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, high cholestrol. Helping people to lead a healthy and active life style can help prevent this disease. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD); This is a rarer form of dementia that is caused by prion diseaes they are proteins that are found in mammuls. when they cluster together in the brain, the affect is the brain cells die, when they die they leave holes in the brain called spongiosis, they appear sponge like under microscope. The damage this causes to the brain are neurological difficulties and dementia. There are four forms of CJD they are Sporadic, Familial, Iatrogenic and Variant. These conditions are very rare but life expectancy is very short, death can happen within 6-24 months from diagnosis. Biswanger's diseas; (BD) also called subcortical vascular dementia is caused by damage to the blood vessels in the deep white matter of the brain, the damage is a result of the thickening and narrowing of the arteries commonly known as hardening of the arteries. It usually affects people over the age of 60 and is often a result of high blood pressure or long-term hypertension. Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB); DLB is a type of dementia that has similar symptoms to alzheimers and parkingsons disease. Lewy bodies are tiny deposits of protine in nerve cells.These deposits alter the way the brain works. There is still not full understanding of why LB appear in the brain, or how they contribute to dementia.But there presence is linked with low levels of acetylcholine and dopamine and a loss of conections between nerve cells. Over time the nerve cells die and there is a loss of brain tissue. About four percent of the older population with dementia are affected with DLB. Fronto-temmporal dementia; This is a group of disorders caused by progressive cell degeneratio in the brains frontal lodes or its temporal lobes. Cell damage leads to tissue shrinkage and reduced function in the front of the brain which control how people understand speach, how they feel, how they speak, how they move and how they behave.
1.2 Memory is information we have stored in our brain, that we can remember and recall as and when needed.We have information in our brains that we can remember from years ago, some is harder to recall some is easier. If we are distracted or not concentrating when a memory is forming, we probably wont remember it in detail, but if it is very interesting or you enjoyed the experience a lot you will likley remember those events clearly, but the boring stuff wont be as clear. Some memorys get replaced to make room for new memorys like clearing out your filing cabinet...
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