Dementia - when people become different

In Germany, around 1.6 million people suffer from dementia. Every year, around 300, 000 new cases are added. If memory and behavior change, then it must by no means be a normal symptom of aging. But at the beginning the differentiation is not easy. It often takes years for the diagnosis to be made.

Early diagnosis often difficult

Not infrequently, the lack of insight into the disease and the hushing up of the changes prevent early treatment. Relatives often rate the affected person's "becoming different" as wanton, consciously executed behavior and do not suspect that a serious illness is behind it.

Relatives are often helpless with the effects of the disease. At the end of their powers they see no other way out than the home-admission of the beloved relative. Supporting these relatives is a social task. Early diagnosis and rapid onset of therapy can significantly improve the quality of life of those affected. A life in the circle of the family then remains longer possible.

When knowledge dwindles

"To be without spirit" is the meaning of the term dementia and thus describes, among other things, an increasing loss of mental abilities and the sense of orientation of those affected. Thus, a formerly successful and independent person can become helpless from year to year. He forgets names, misplaces things and has difficulty finding the right words. At worst, he no longer recognizes his closest relatives.

When traits change

"Being without a mind" also means that dementia patients are removed from their original behaviors and characteristics. It can happen once that a relative is accused of having stolen a wallet, or the always amiable mother suddenly becomes strange, scolds groundless and nagging at everything.

Even nocturnal walking with the result of heavy tiredness during the day are features that indicate a dementia. All these changes can occur long before the first memory disturbances.

Preserve dignity in old age

Cause of dementia symptoms are changes in the brain. There are substances that influence the action and the feelings. If the metabolism is disturbed, it comes to the described abnormalities. With modern medicines called atypicals, these disorders can now be treated well at any stage. Active ingredients such as risperidone ensure that the metabolic processes in the brain re-nomilize.

The person affected becomes more sociable and the family togetherness more relaxed. Loss of memory can also be contained today by the use of anti-dementia drugs, such as galantamine (originally obtained from the snowdrop). In order to comprehensively treat the symptoms of dementia, anti-dementia drugs and atypicals are often combined. As a supplement, memory training, behavioral or sociotherapy should also be used. So the brain performance is enhanced.

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