The Sad Truth Behind Dementia

In no way, shape or form is dementia a laughing matter. The disease is the result of a loss of mental functions like thinking, memory and reasoning that can easily interfere with a person's daily functioning. And while it is not necessarily a disease in itself, it is the collection of various diseases or conditions that sum up the horrific group of symptoms.

Dementia often develops as parts of the brain are affected by one or more of a variety of infections. The most common and recognizable form of dementia is Alzheimer's, but many people do not realize there are as many as 50 other known causes. So what exactly causes it to arise?

There are a number of things that can cause degeneration or loss of nerve cells in the brain, leading up to Alzheimer's, Parkinson's or Huntington's. There are diseases that affect the blood vessels and can actually cause a stroke. Then there are nutritional deficiencies like vitamin B12 that can bring on complications.

As mentioned, Alzheimer's is the leading cause of dementia with around 50% to 60% resulting in this. However, researchers have recently learned that two nervous diseases known as Lewy body disease and Pick's disease are major causes of concern as well and used to incorrectly be diagnosed as Alzheimer's.

Sadly, this is a problem that has become more and more common over the years; particularly with Alzheimer's. There is belief that as many as half of all people over 80 will develop Alzheimer's in their life. There is the increased incidence of AIDS dementia complex that comes from the HIV infection that has led to the increased numbers as well.

More times than not it is a late-life disease that only increases with age. Around 5 to 8% of people over the age of 65 have some form and the number doubles every five years above 65. So the question on many people's mind is what kinds are treatable, if any?

The good news is there are forms of dementia that can be treated to ensure you live a long and healthy life. Anything that is due to long-term substance abuse can be corrected. Sometimes tumors can be a result and can be removed. And if there is a metabolic disorder, hypothyroidism or hypoglycemia, it can be properly treated.

On the flipside, sadly the most common form is untreatable today, Alzheimer's disease. Along with this you will find that multi-infarct dementia, dementia associated with Parkinson's disease and any AIDS dementia complex is also untreatable.

All forms are sad and unfortunate events that can quickly take over a person's life. And while researchers have come up with a number of staggering findings, there is still much work to be done.