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Memory Loss Tips

Treating Dementia - Things You Should Know!

Dr.Vaibhav Dubey 86% (25ratings)
MD - Psychiatry, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Bhopal
Treating Dementia - Things You Should Know!

Diagnosing dementia can be more difficult than you can imagine. Medically, the patient needs to have at least two areas of mental functionality impaired to an extent where it interferes with their everyday life. However, diagnosis is just the beginning as treating dementia can be even more challenging. Here is a look at some of the treatment options available for dementia patients.

Treatment for Dementia
There is often no cure for most forms of dementia. Treatment relies on the management of the condition, to ensure that the progression can be impeded. With proper treatment, patients can live a relatively normal life for a number of years.

  1. Cholinesterase inhibitors- These medications are used for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. They are chemical agents that boost the memory and judgment of the patient. The same is also an effective medication for those suffering from Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia.
  2. Therapy- Making small changes to some aspects of life of the patient can often yield good results. For instance, clearing the clutter and noise in the house can be an effective way of helping dementia patients deal with their condition. Similarly, creating a safe environment at home with little chance of severe accidents, will ensure the safety of the patient.

Stress in caregivers of dementia patients
Dementia patients need to be cared for, ideally by a close family member such as a spouse. However, these caregivers undergo a lot of stress while providing support to the patient. For instance, Alzheimer’s patients often do not recognize their caregiver who may also be their spouse. Here are some burdens that caregivers have to deal with.

  1. Anger- The sense of fury towards the patient can be strong after years of providing care. They may also be frustrated with the fact that the affected person is unable to perform simple everyday jobs, such as brushing their teeth or tying their shoelaces.
  2. Anxiety- A sense of hopelessness regarding the future is common. It is also the fear of what new challenges the next day might bring.
  3. Depression- Seeing their loved one’s mental state deteriorating with each passing day can be difficult to handle and pushes some caregivers into depression.

With such continuous emotional and physical stress, caregivers often fall sick themselves. This is why it is necessary to maintain a bright outlook and remember that a dementia patient can only get well if they have the full support of the caregiver. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

1823 people found this helpful

Check For The Signs Of Dementia!

Dr.Santosh Bangar 88% (41ratings)
Diploma in Psychiatry, M.D. (Psychiatry), MBBS
Psychiatrist, Mumbai
Check For The Signs Of Dementia!

With age, just like other body functions, the mind too begins to slow down (normal aging). This could lead to problems in remembering, recall, reasoning, and thinking. But in dementia, there is a progressive worsening which affects day-to-day activities. So, with dementia, the person faces problems which are a combination of above-mentioned activities. Dementia is a syndrome associated with many diseases and is not a disease on its own.

Alzheimer’s disease is the main cause of dementia, followed by Vascular dementia (due to stroke) and Lewy body disease. However, there are some symptoms that can be indicative that a person is gradually progressing into dementia. Watching out for these symptoms can help one seek professional help at an early stage, thereby helping the affected person, and slowing down its progress.

1. Short term memory loss: With age, people tend to forget what happened recently, and this can even be something as recent a few minutes ago. However, they can very clearly recollect events from the past (long term memory). They might forget things like where they have placed their glasses, where the television remote control is, etc. They may also ask for the same information repeatedly, even after it is answered.

2. Mood changes: Rapid mood swings are observed in a person suffering from dementia. Their emotions keep changing within a matter of seconds, and they may show also less emotion than what they used to show previously.

3. Personality changes: Since dementia affects reasoning and judgment, someone who was earlier shy could suddenly become outgoing. Their inhibitions which led to a shy personality are lost, making them more outgoing. Occasionally, they may behave in a socially inappropriate manner.

4. Difficulty in performing regular tasks: Be it forgetting things like laying out tables, keeping things back in their places, or organizing medical kits, with dementia setting in, these tasks slowly become more difficult to do. Also, learning new tasks, even simple ones, seem tough and are often not accomplished.

5. Repeating actions: As they are not able to register things, they tend to repeat things, both in words and in actions.

6. Feeling lost: Things like heading out to a store to buy something and then wondering why they came there are common. Short-term memory loss can cause such situations. This confusion, especially with regard to time and things, is very common.

7. Spatial and time orientation: There could be problems relating to space and time, seasons, and they may often ask questions like what time it is, etc. Routine tasks like paying bills, cooking using recipe books, which were easily managed, suddenly begin to look difficult.

1967 people found this helpful

Symptoms And Treatment Of Dissociative Amnesia!

Dr.Amit Garg 88% (564ratings)
MBBS, MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Delhi
Symptoms And Treatment Of Dissociative Amnesia!

It is a common belief that newer memories are retained and older memories are lost gradually over time. However, when someone tends to forget things in a particular pattern, it is important to take note of it.
Dissociative amnesia is a condition when a person cannot recall important personal information from a specific period of his/her life. This is usually associated with a bad memory, including war or abuse, and the person wants to “dissociate” himself/herself from that particular episode, and so tends to forget events from that phase of life. The impact could affect their awareness, identity, perception, and memory. There could be adverse effects on work life, social life, and even relationships.

Causes: It is usually seen in people who have had traumatic experiences, such as war, sexual abuse, natural disasters, severe road accidents, etc. Given the severe effect on the patients’ emotional well-being, this part of their life is dissociated and so events associated with that event are forgotten.

Symptoms: The affected person usually has sudden memory loss with inability to recall specific events from a certain period. On further probing, there could be associated symptoms like depression and/or anxiety. The amnesia could be localised, selective, or generalised.

  1. Localised amnesia: This is very closely linked to stress or trauma associated with a specific event in life, which has had an unpleasant effect on the person. For instance, the person cannot recall the year or month of a war or natural disaster. Memory loss around the period happens long after the actual event during routine conversations.
  2. Selective amnesia: The person forgets not the entire event, but only specific incidents related to the event. It is likely that the portion which was most impactful emotionally is forgotten.
  3. Generalised amnesia: Strangely, some people just forget the complete life history, including identity, location, close family and friends, routine activities, etc. The onset is sudden and can leave the immediate family members impacted badly. They may even not recollect or remember close family people.

Treatment: In addition to relieving symptoms (if any), the treatment is aimed at helping the person get rid of the memory by mourning it, process the pain, develop life skills, and improve relationships. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment, and the various components include the following:

  1. Encourage communication and help them understand problems
  2. Cognitive therapy to change feelings and behaviour and thinking patterns
  3. Medications like antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs
  4. Family therapy where symptoms are taught, especially to identify an attack
  5. Creative therapy like art and music therapies to create happy memories

As a preventive measure, early intervention after a traumatic event or emotionally distressing experience (war, natural disaster, sexual abuse, etc.) can help prevent and manage symptoms of dissociative disorders.
 

1361 people found this helpful

Diabetes - Know The Impact Of It!

Dr.Debabrata Chakraborty 89% (162ratings)
DM - Neurology, Fellowship in Stroke Neurology, MD - General Medicine, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Neurologist, Kolkata
Diabetes - Know The Impact Of It!

Diabetes and dementia have more in common than the letter ‘D’. Diabetes is a disorder where the body cannot produce enough insulin. It may also make the patient’s body resistant to insulin. As a result, the body’s glucose levels fluctuate. This, in turn, increases the risk of many other conditions including vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This risk can be as high as 60%. Dementia caused by diabetes is seen more often in women than in men.

According to research studies, high levels of glucose or sugar in the body can affect the brain cells. This excessive sugar limits the amount of oxygen that can reach the brain cells and leads to the death of these cells. It also prevents brain cells from communicating with each other thus leading to vascular dementia. Vascular dementia can also be caused by a stroke or a number of small strokes. This too is an effect of diabetes as it can cause cardiovascular troubles and narrow the arteries.

Vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia. Patients suffering from this type of dementia typically complain of memory loss and difficulty thinking. Language may also be an issue. Some of the common symptoms associated with it are:

  • Trouble planning or organizing things
  • Trouble solving simple problems
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Difficulty in following steps or a procedure
  • Reduced speed of thinking
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mood swings

The risk of developing vascular dementia doubles every five years after the age of 65. Hence, it is important to keep your diabetes under control and manage your blood sugar levels. If you are on insulin, you must take the prescribed dose regularly. Do not change the dosage on your own or skip a dose. Here are a few other tips that can help you control diabetes and reduce the risk of vascular dementia.

Eat a well-balanced diet
A person suffering from diabetes should have plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Avoid processed foods and fatty foods. Instead of frying our food, try grilling, steaming or baking it. Raw salads are great for a diabetes patient.

Exercise Regularly
Exercise can improve your overall health and make your body respond better to insulin. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle; start by adding a walk to your daily routine. You could also try cycling or swimming. Aim for at least half an hour’s exercise each day. If you cannot find the time, incorporate exercises into your daily routine. For example, take the stairs instead of the lift or park your car a little further away from your home and walk back.

2165 people found this helpful

Vascular Dementia - How To Avert It In Diabetes?

MBBS, MD- General Medicine, DM - Neurology
Neurologist, Ranchi
Vascular Dementia - How To Avert It In Diabetes?

Diabetes and dementia have more in common than the letter ‘D’. Diabetes is a disorder where the body cannot produce enough insulin. It may also make the patient’s body resistant to insulin. As a result, the body’s glucose levels fluctuate. This, in turn, increases the risk of many other conditions including vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This risk can be as high as 60%. Dementia caused by diabetes is seen more often in women than in men.

According to research studies, high levels of glucose or sugar in the body can affect the brain cells. This excessive sugar limits the amount of oxygen that can reach the brain cells and leads to the death of these cells. It also prevents brain cells from communicating with each other thus leading to vascular dementia. Vascular dementia can also be caused by a stroke or a number of small strokes. This too is an effect of diabetes as it can cause cardiovascular troubles and narrow the arteries.

Vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia. Patients suffering from this type of dementia typically complain of memory loss and difficulty thinking. Language may also be an issue. Some of the common symptoms associated with it are:

  • Trouble planning or organizing things
  • Trouble solving simple problems
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Difficulty in following steps or a procedure
  • Reduced speed of thinking
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mood swings

The risk of developing vascular dementia doubles every five years after the age of 65. Hence, it is important to keep your diabetes under control and manage your blood sugar levels. If you are on insulin, you must take the prescribed dose regularly. Do not change the dosage on your own or skip a dose. Here are a few other tips that can help you control diabetes and reduce the risk of vascular dementia.

Eat a well-balanced diet
A person suffering from diabetes should have plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Avoid processed foods and fatty foods. Instead of frying our food, try grilling, steaming or baking it. Raw salads are great for a diabetes patient.

Exercise Regularly
Exercise can improve your overall health and make your body respond better to insulin. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle; start by adding a walk to your daily routine. You could also try cycling or swimming. Aim for at least half an hour’s exercise each day. If you cannot find the time, incorporate exercises into your daily routine. For example, take the stairs instead of the lift or park your car a little further away from your home and walk back.

1382 people found this helpful

Dementia - Know Initial Signs Of It!

Dr.Divya Chopra 92% (47ratings)
MD - Psychiatry, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Dehradun
Dementia - Know Initial Signs Of It!

Dementia refers to the progressive loss of memory in a human being. It does not refer to any particular disease. It is rather a cumulative representation of symptoms which signify that the person is losing his or her memory. Dementia occurs in seven stages. Read on to read more about them:

  1. In the first stage, there is no cognitive decline and the person is mentally sound. There is no memory loss as well.
  2. In the second stage, there is a very mild cognitive decline leading to normal forgetfulness that is often associated with progressing age.
  3. In the third stage, there is a mild cognitive decline. The person has an increased forgetfulness and may find it difficult to concentrate on things.
  4. In the fourth stage, there is moderate cognitive decline and the person starts forgetting even the most recent events. They cannot even travel alone or manage their own finances.
  5. In the fifth stage, there is a moderately severe cognitive decline. The person going through this stage often requires help even with their daily activities. People tend to forget even the most common things like phone and email passwords.
  6. In the sixth stage, there is a severe cognitive decline. This stage is also called middle dementia and there is prominent memory loss. People cannot even count from 1 to 10. Their speech becomes slurry. They also start having delusions.
  7. In the seventh stage, there is a very severe cognitive decline. This stage is also called late dementia. The psychomotor skills are also lost at this stage and the person may not even be able to walk properly.

Some of the early signs of dementia are listed below:

  1. In the initial days of dementia, the person usually tends to get confused when it comes to choosing the right words. This makes them take much longer time to conclude their speech.
  2. There might also be a change in the mood of the person.

Depression is also one of the early signs.

  1. The person will have a tendency to forget even the most recent events that took place in his or her life. This means that they might remember what happened ten years before but they might not remember what they did in the morning.
  2. Early signs also include failure to sense directions. People often tend to forget their addresses and the landmarks and thus become lost when they travel alone.
  3. Confusion is also one of the common signs and this is directly correlated to the loss of memory because when a person cannot remember familiar faces, it leads to a lot of confusion within his own mind.

So, if you suspect that someone in your house is suffering from dementia, then you must look out for these early signs and seek medical help immediately. Early treatment can keep the condition from worsening.

1638 people found this helpful

Dementia - How To Administer It?

MBBS, MD - Psychiatry, Residency in Surgery
Psychiatrist, Jaipur
Dementia - How To Administer It?

Ageing is a natural process, and as much as we don’t like it, it is inevitable. The effect of ageing is different from different organs, and with regard to the brain, dementia is one of the main effects. Dementia is not an isolated condition, but a set of symptoms that include decreased memory and reduced thinking ability, making it difficult for the person to perform daily activities efficiently. Ageing is one of the main causes of dementia. Dementia is usually progressive, with a person beginning to forget his/her purse, taking pills, etc., and then progressing to forget more important things like close family members’ names or finding one’s way back home.

Though dementia is not reversible, it is possible to control the rate of progression and arrest symptoms if detected in the early stages. There are various reasons for dementia, with senility or ageing being one of the main reasons. Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia, hypothyroidism, depression, etc., are some of the other reasons and treating these can help control the symptoms of dementia. Treatment for dementia would include a combination of medications aimed at treating the underlying reason for dementia and supportive palliative care, which forms a huge component of the treatment, which includes the following:

  1. Vitamin B12 replacement in people with vitamin deficiency
  2. Treat hypothyroidism with thyroid replacement
  3. Manage depression with antidepressants
  4. Change or substitute medications leading to memory loss
  5. Mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease can be controlled with acetylcholine esterase inhibitors like rivastigmine and galantamine; more severe forms with memantine hydrochloride.
  6. Manage behavioural changes with antipsychotics
  7. Recommend surgical removal if there are brain tumours that cause increased pressure
  8. Treat brain infections like encephalitis, if present.
  9. Manage risk factors by managing high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and quitting smoking

In addition to the above, supportive palliative care is also very essential. The intention is not to cure, but to improve patient care by including the following:

  1. Help the affected person become independent and manage daily activities on their own.
  2. Include cognitive stimulation with activities and games to improve memory and cognitive functioning.
  3. Validation therapy and behaviour therapy are also used, depending on the symptoms.
  4. The affected person would usually feel mixed feelings of anger, fear, anxiety, and sadness. To address this, use medications that improve the mood, control the behaviour and improve cognitive functions. Support and counselling from friends and family are very helpful.
  5. As much as it might be uncomfortable, decisions such as caretaker, type of care, financial planning, etc., should be discussed and decided.

As dementia is irreversible, the key is to detect the symptoms in their early stages. This will help in effective management by arresting the symptoms from progressing, thereby improving the quality of life.

3157 people found this helpful

Dementia - Getting It Treated With Siddha!

M.D(Siddha).
Siddha Specialist, Chennai
Dementia - Getting It Treated With Siddha!

Dementia is a dreaded psychological disorder in which the brain cells begin to deteriorate. It is different from regular senility. When the brain cells stop doing their work, it affects the brain function. This leads to a gradual loss of memory. At the same time, the person may also experience changes in personality as well as declining cognitive abilities, all of which are linked to the faculty of memory. Dementia usually affects senior citizens. However, it may happen to the young as well.

What are the Causes of Dementia?
Dementia may be prompted by -

• Alzheimer’s Disease
• Huntington Disease, a degenerative disorder
• Vascular dementia
• Atherosclerosis
HIV
Multiple Sclerosis
• Pick’s Disorder
• Parkinson’s Disease
Encephalitis, both viral and bacterial
• Lewy Body Disease
• Brain Tumour
Progressive supranuclear palsy
• Chronic Subdural haematoma
• Wilson’s Disease
• Neurosyphilis

Dementia in Siddha -
Siddha is an ancient and indigenous branch of medicinal science that was developed in Tamil Nadu. Siddha aims to get to the root of any ailment and eliminate it from the source instead of simply trying to eradicate the symptoms. Siddha believes that the human body primarily consists of three humours- Kapha, pitta and Vata. As long as the right balance is maintained, the human will be healthy. But if the balance goes out of whack or if the quantity of one humour exceeds the others, then that will make a person vulnerable to diseases.
When there is a Vata imbalance in the mind, a person’s memory begins to fail him/her.

According to Siddha, a person who has contracted dementia will exhibit the following symptoms -
Forgetfulness
• Difficulty with recollection and reasoning
• Confusion and disorientation
• Inability to make plans
• Impaired judgement
Anxiety
Depression
• Hostile behaviour
• Losing interest in everything around him/her
• Disturbed sleep
• Restlessness
• Hoarding
Delusion or hallucinations (in advanced stages of dementia)

The approach of Siddha towards neuropsychiatry revolves around the concept of ‘Kayakarpam’ – a mode of treatment that can slow down ageing and deterioration of the brain cells. Treatment of dementia consists of -
• Skinned ginger soaked in honey
• Paddy rice mixed with ghee
Amaranth cooked ghee, salt and pepper
Aloe Vera
• Black nightshade

Treatment of dementia also includes ‘thokkanam’. Medicinal oils are messaged onto certain parts of the body to activate the Varma points. This will release the ‘praana vayu’- the force of rejuvenation. Siddha also recommends regular meditation top slow down the progression of dementia.

Allopathy has not yet come up with a cure for dementia. But, Siddha can help. Moreover, Siddha medicines are safe and can be consumed without fearing side effects.

2478 people found this helpful

Memory - Know Ayurvedic Remedies For It!

Dr.Madhu Maurya 91% (28ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), MD - General Medicine, PGDP-Panchkarma, Diploma in Yoga
Ayurvedic Doctor, Varanasi
Memory - Know Ayurvedic Remedies For It!

If you're suffering from weak memory or memory loss, Ayurveda might be able to solve your problems. Ayurveda uses natural remedies to cure many diseases, and even though forgetting where you put your glasses or cell phones may not sound discrete enough, it may be early signs of dementia. Before it escalates to that level, here are 5 foods that you may try to curb it as the first signs appear.

* Almonds are one of the most effective food items to increase your brain power and cure amnesia. They are a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants that hike up your mental prowess. They are best to have early in the morning, ground and mixed with milk and sugar (or a healthier supplement being honey), or otherwise, after being soaked overnight in water.

* Ayurvedic herbs, like rosemary, brahmi, ashwagandha, shankha pushpin, liquorice plant, etc, are all known to have medicinal properties that improve your brain power. Regulated incorporation of these herbs in your diet in requisite amount relaxes your mind, and thereby improves its functioning capacity.

* Sirodhara is a Panchakarma procedure which helps brain to rejuvenate, to overcome memory loss. Drug used for this is purely herbs to enhance memory. Some herbomineral oral drugs are also beneficial for it.

* Indian Gooseberry or amla is rich in Vitamin C, as well as antioxidants, which helps boost immunity, but other than that, amla is also known to have properties to strengthen your nervous system. It is one of the best remedies for managing Alzheimer's disease. It can be consumed raw or dried, and at times along with white sesame seeds.

* Fish oil is an excellent way to enhance your memory, especially if you are a non-vegetarian. It contains rich quantities of Omega 3 fatty acids, which help rejuvenate your brain cells. But if you are a vegetarian or vegan, fish oil or even fishes like salmon, might not be the best suited to your dietary preference, in which case it may be more helpful to consume Omega 3 supplements which are readily available in the market, or even fenugreek seeds.

* Cinnamon helps in revitalizing your mental health, when consumed, or even when smelled. Add a pinch of cinnamon to your food, or mix a teaspoon with honey, and it will work wonders for your mental health.

* Nigella seeds, black seeds or kalonji is another way to boost your memory. They are rich in antioxidants, and alongside also have anti-inflammatory and provide natural protection to neurons. Adding them to your meals can not only improve their taste but also enhance its remedial powers.

1726 people found this helpful

Alzeimer's Disease And Its Symptoms!

Dr.Girjesh Rustagi 85% (15ratings)
MBBS, MD - Medicine
General Physician, Ghaziabad
Alzeimer's Disease And Its Symptoms!

Are you experiencing memory loss? Your memory changes often as you grow, but memory loss which causes disruption of your daily life is not a part of ageing. It may be a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common type of dementia. Dementia refers to a slow decline in your memory, thinking, judgement and reasoning skills.

Alzheimer’s is a fatal disorder, which may result in the loss of brain function. It may be hard to differentiate between the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and normal age-related changes. For proper identification of symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease, you should know about the warning signs. They are as follows:

  1. Memory loss which disrupts daily life: Forgetting of information learnt recently is a common sign of Alzheimer’ disease, especially in the early stage. Forgetting important events or dates and asking for something over and over are also likely signs.
  2. Difficulty in planning and solving problems: Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow any plan or work associated with numbers. Trouble regarding keeping track of bills and following a particular recipe are common examples. A person may also face problems with concentration.
  3. Difficulty in completing familiar tasks: Another warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease is when a person cannot complete simple and familiar daily tasks. Problems like driving to a known location, remembering the rules of a game or managing budget are likely.
  4. Confusion regarding time or place: People with Alzheimer’s disease may lose track of seasons, dates and the passage of time. They may not understand situations when they do not happen immediately.
  5. Problems in understanding visual images: Vision problems may be an indication of Alzheimer’s in some people. Difficulty in reading, judgement of distance and the determination of color may occur which cause problems during driving.
  6. Problems in speaking or writing: Another sign of Alzheimer’s disease is when a person has problems in following or joining a conversation. They may pause while conversing and have no idea about how to continue with it. Problems with vocabulary, finding proper words and calling things by a wrong name are more warning symptoms.
  7. Misplacing stuff and being unable to retrace steps: A person with Alzheimer’s may develop a tendency of keeping things in unusual places. They end up losing the things as they cannot go back and retrace where they kept something. They may also accuse people of stealing their things.
  8. Decreased sense of judgement: Another important warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease is a decreased sense of judgement. Changes in decision making and judgement are likely to develop in a person.
1650 people found this helpful
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