Dementia is a collective name for progressive degenerative brain syndromes which affect memory, thinking, behavior and emotion. It is usually caused by Alzheimer’s disease, but can also be caused by brain trauma or certain illnesses.
What are the symptoms?
Often short-term memory and concentration is affected first. Later, as the illness progresses, other symptoms may appear: people may have difficulty carrying out routine tasks, get confused about where they are and what day it is, or struggle to understand the meaning of words. Currently, treatment options for dementia are limited.
Treatments for dementia
Although dementia cannot be cured there are several drug treatments that can temporarily alleviate some symptoms of some types of dementia. These treatments, such as Reminyl, Exelon and Ebixa, cause the disease to progress less rapidly, leading to a stabilization or less rapid deterioration in the cognitive functioning of dementia sufferers.
How to prevent dementia
Although dementia cannot be prevented there are things that you can do to keep your brain as healthy as possible as you age. Eating the right foods and getting regular exercise is an important part of this. In addition, evidence suggests that omega-3 fatty acids (a type of healthy fat found in oily fish) and food supplements that improve blood circulation benefit the brain and memory.