Dementia is not a specific disease but a group of symptoms associated with brain dysfunction or damage. They are usually chronic and progressive. However recent and ongoing studies are suggesting that dementia, especially Alzheimer’s, can be slowed down, arrested and even reversed with the use of some simple OTC medications and life style changes.
What are the different Dementias?
For the purposes of this short essay there are two main dementias and they are:
- Alzheimer’s Disease and
- Senile or Vascular Dementia.
Of the two Alzheimer’s is about four times commoner than Senile dementia. Here is how they differ:
- Alzheimer’s tends to have a relatively early onset, typically by age 50 or 60 although it can start as early as 30 years of age. Senile dementia on the other hand has a later onset in the 70’s or 80’s
- The brain, when examined at post mortem, of Alzheimer’s shows the typical plaques on the surface of the brain. With senile dementia there are no such plaques but many small areas of cell death due to impaired blood supply. The so-called transient ischemic attacks or TIA
- Alzheimer’s tends to have a rapid deterioration. Senile dementia on the other hand progresses slowly.
Treatment of Dementia.
Until very recently dementia was always thought to be chronic and progressive. Recent small studies are now throwing this attitude into some doubt. There is now some weak evidence that some simple supplements and life-style changes can prevent or even reverse Alzheimer’s disease. I am currently working on an e-book outlining what these supplements and life-style changes are but I can tell you that they are nether expensive or onerous. This protocol only helps if applied during the early phase of the disease.
The management of advanced Alzheimer’s requires specialist nursing skills and facilities usually in a nursing home with additional security. Suffers of dementia can wander off and expose themselves to all manner of danger including being struck by a car, drowning or falling from a height.