Dementia

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    • According to a 2020 report published by the Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India, there are around 5 million people in India living with dementia.

    Key Points

    • Facts:
      • Worldwide, 47.5 million people have dementia.
      • The number of people living with dementia worldwide is expected to double every 20 years, going up to 135.5 million by 2050. 
    • About Dementia:
      • Dementia is a clinical syndrome caused by a range of diseases or injuries to the brain.
      • The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease
      • It is implicated in up to 70% of dementia diagnoses. 
    • Early Symptoms:
      • Absent-mindedness, 
      • difficulty recalling names and words, 
      • difficulty retaining new information, 
      • disorientation in unfamiliar surroundings, and reduced social engagement. 
      • Impairment in recognising visually presented objects (visual agnosia) despite a normal visual field, 
      • acuity and colour vision.
      • word-finding difficulties (anomic aphasia).
    • Advanced Symptoms:
      • Marked memory loss and loss of other cognitive skills,
      • reduced vocabulary and less complex speech patterns. 
      • monosyllabic speech, 
      • psychotic symptoms, 
      • behavioral disturbance, 
      • loss of bladder and bowel control, and reduced mobility.
    • Prevention:
      • The WHO has identified preventing Alzheimer’s disease to be a key element in the strategy to fight the world’s dementia epidemic. 
      • Economic analyses have found that delaying the onset of the disease by even one year could reduce its prevalence by 11%, while a delay of five years could halve it.
      • These medicines lead to notable but temporary symptomatic improvements in 10-15% of persons with dementia.
      • Prevention programmes usually focus on lifestyle risk factors – such as sedentary behaviour, unhealthy diet, smoking, and excessive alcohol use – together with mental wellbeing and risk of cardiovascular diseases.
    • Dementia care:
      • To manage the important aspects of the disease, with a goal to reversing their effects or to delay its progression in the brain. 
      • To manage the cognitive, neuropsychiatric, and functional symptoms of the disease.

    Source: TH