July 11, 2011

Alcoholic Dementia And Schizophrenia

Posted in Category : Natural Cures

Dementia is characterized by diminished mental abilities. This decline in mental facilities affects the normal functioning of an individual. Dementia occurs most commonly in elderly persons and was referred to as senility, which occurred as part of the ageing process. However today it is known that dementia is not due to normal ageing, but is in fact caused by various medical conditions. These medical conditions can develop in the elderly as well as younger individuals. Dementia may be reversed in some cases if there is proper medical care. However in other cases, the condition is permanent and can worsen with time.

Besides being confused about the difference between schizophrenia and dementia, many people ask the question, is dementia hereditary? Dementia, like many other conditions, is associated with genetics. An individual with a family history of dementia may face a higher risk of developing the condition himself. Therefore the disease is not inherited; it is only the increased risk that passes down through the generations. However in some rare cases, the disease itself may be passed on from one generation to the next. Individuals who have close family members with dementia usually do not have to be concerned about acquiring the condition themselves. This is because dementia is also influenced by several other factors. In addition to genetics, it is also a person’s lifestyle that plays a significant role. Dementia can be classified into different types.

Alcoholic dementia is associated with excessive or chronic drinking which leads to brain damage. The effects of such dementia include memory loss and other neurological problems. Semantic dementia is the inability to remember faces, meaning of words and objects. It occurs when the temporal lobes shrink in size. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Another type of dementia is vascular dementia which occurs due to problems in blood flow to the brain. Some research indicates that there might be a link between depression and dementia. Depression may lead to brain inflammation or elevation of protein levels in the brain. These occurrences may affect an individual’s risk of developing dementia. Depression also leads to poor nutrition, social isolation and inactive lifestyle, which can also play a role in the development of dementia.

Dementia and schizophrenia are often confused with each other, but actually they are two distinct conditions, each with separate causes and symptoms. Schizophrenia tends to appear in adolescents and young adults, while the onset of dementia is in old age. Impairment in cognitive facilities may occur in both illnesses, but these symptoms are less severe in schizophrenia. In schizophrenia, the individual experiences what are called ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ symptoms. The cognitive deficits in dementia are directly due to a certain ailment or substance. Both schizophrenia and dementia can affect a person’s daily functioning and medical care is essential.

There are various signs of dementia in elderly. The initial symptoms may include confusion and forgetfulness. Affected individuals may face difficulty in forming coherent sentences and may also repeat themselves while talking. It is also possible for them to suffer from infections and sores due to old age and inability to care for themselves. Those who live alone may face problems in eating and drinking. Dementia can also cause a person to lose interest in life and enjoyable activities. Some individuals may also suffer from excessive aggression and mood swings. Other symptoms of dementia may include appetite loss, weight loss, depression and incontinence.

Treatment for dementia may involve medications that improve mood and cognitive function. In cases where dementia is caused by treatable, medical conditions, partial or complete mental function may be restored after a period of time. In cases where dementia is irreversible, treatment is aimed at making life safe and comfortable for the individual.