Dementia: Alzheimer's Disease and Brain Changes

Topics: Alzheimer's disease, Neuron, Traumatic brain injury Pages: 3 (989 words) Published: December 11, 2014
Dementia
There are many different types of dementia. The term ‘dementia’ describes the symptoms that occur when the brain is affected by certain diseases or conditions. Some types are far more common than others and they are often named according to the condition that has caused the dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. During the course of the disease, the chemistry and structure of the brain changes, leading to the death of brain cells. Vascular dementia occurs when the oxygen supply to the brain fails, as brain cells die. The symptoms of vascular dementia can occur either suddenly following a stroke, or over time through a series of small strokes. Dementia with lewy bodies is a form of dementia that gets its name from tiny spherical structures that develop inside nerve cells. Their presence in the brain leads to the degeneration of brain tissue. Fronto-temporal dementia is where the damage is usually focused in the front part of the brain. Personality and behaviour are initially more affected than memory. People with HIV and AIDS sometimes develop cognitive impairment, particularly in the later stages of their illness. This can lead to a type of dementia called HIV-related cognitive impairment. Korsakoff's syndrome is a brain disorder that is usually associated with heavy drinking over a long period. Although it is not strictly speaking a dementia, people with the condition experience loss of short term memory. Dementia involves a collection of symptoms including memory loss, personality change, and impaired intellectual functions resulting from disease or trauma to the brain. These changes are not part of normal aging and are severe enough to impact daily living, independence, and relationships. However with dementia, there will likely be noticeable decline in communication, learning, remembering, and problem solving. These changes may occur quickly or very slowly over time. Some of the most common signs and symptoms within...
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