Monday, March 17, 2014

Dementia is one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people worldwide. It is overwhelming not only for the people who have it, but also for their caregivers and families. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about dementia in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Dementia is a syndrome usually of a chronic or progressive nature in which there is deterioration in cognitive function beyond what might be expected from normal aging.

Dementia affects memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculation, learning capacity, language and judgment. Consciousness is not affected. The impairment in cognitive function is commonly accompanied, and occasionally preceded, by deterioration in emotional control, social behavior or motivation.

Dementia is caused by a variety of diseases and injuries that primarily or secondarily affect the brain, such as Alzheimers disease or stroke.

Dementia affects each person in a different way, depending upon the impact of the disease and the persons personality before becoming ill.

There is no treatment currently available to cure dementia or to alter its progressive course. More research is needed to develop new and more effective treatments and to better understand the causes of dementia.

Improving the awareness and understanding of dementia is needed to decrease discrimination and improve the quality of life for people with dementia and their caregivers.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.