Mind Matters: What is dementia?

Mind Matters: What is dementia?

Publication date: Apr 08, 2019

These include learning and memory, use of language, executive functioning (as I tell my patients, this is your ability to juggle life stresses and keep -all the balls in the air”) attention to complex tasks, perceptual motor skills, and the ability to move through the world in a socially acceptable way.

What other kind of neurocognitive conditions can cause dementia symptoms?

Dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, and dementia that is related to another commonly known illness, Parkinson’s Disease.

Suffice it to say that these last illnesses attack the brain in very specific ways in certain regions, leading to motor functioning and mobility problems, loss of speech, loss of memory, and ultimately the complete inability to take care of oneself.

Many adults that live long enough will have some component of vascular and Alzheimer’s-like dementia symptoms, but not always rising to the level of diagnosis and treatment.

Symptoms of dementia may include forgetfulness, trouble learning and retaining new information, trouble doing complex tasks (see balls in the air above), trouble reasoning, getting lost in space or time (poor orientation), developing problems with language, and behavioral change including out of character or even aggressive or hostile interactions with others.

They can not only give their own historical perspective on changes in the patient, but they can also be a second set of ears as the doctor or other provider gives feedback, schedules testing, or prescribes treatment.

A good longitudinal history of the patient’s interactions and behavior over time is one of the most valuable pieces of the puzzle in diagnosing dementia.

Cognitive testing can run the gamut from a simple screening test like the Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSE), to a mental status at the time of interview to formal multi-hour neuropsychological testing.

If the changes in the history match the mental status examinations and other tests, then there is a high probability that a dementia diagnosis may be made.

Strokes, Parkinson’s Disease, and other medical problems can lead to dementia symptoms.

Back then, we had a list of orders that included labs that we would write any time we admitted someone to the hospital for a dementia workup.

The cognitive changes seen are more than would be expected normally for a given age, but they do not rise to the level of a dementia.

Depressed people will answer -I can’t even try”, while patients with dementia are happy to try to give answers, but they are all incorrect.

Concepts Keywords
Air Polypharmacy
Alcohol Matters dementia
Benadryl High probability dementia
Brain Form dementia
Cardiovascular Fear Alzheimers Dementia
CBC MRI
Cognition Frontotemporal dementia
Cognitive Mini–Mental State Examination
Complete Blood Count Alzheimer’s disease
Consciousness Vascular dementia
Dementia Dementia
Depression Learning disabilities
Drug Abuse RTT
Esoteric Health
Executive Functioning Medicine
Frontotemporal Dementia Psychiatry
Gamut Cognitive disorders
Hematoma Psychiatric diagnosis
HIV Progressive supranuclear palsy
Hospital Memory loss
Lewy Bodies Delirium
Memory Frontotemporal dementia dementia
Mild Cognitive Impairment Dementia disorder
Mini Old Timers Disease
Motor Skills Diseases
MRI Illness Parkinsons Disease
Neurocognitive HIV
Neurological Mild cognitive impairment
Neuropsychological Testing Strokes Parkinsons Disease
Physical Examination Dementia A
Probability Hospital dementia
Progressive
Puzzle
Reversible Process
Seizure
Sleep
Speech Loss
Stroke
Supranuclear Palsy
Syphilis
Tests
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
TSH
Vascular Dementia

Semantics

Type Source Name
gene UNIPROT LITAF
drug DRUGBANK Ethanol
gene UNIPROT SET
disease MESH dementia
disease DOID dementia
disease MESH panic
gene UNIPROT THOP1
disease DOID face
gene UNIPROT ELOVL6
gene UNIPROT FANCE
drug DRUGBANK Tropicamide
gene UNIPROT SPEN
gene UNIPROT CHL1
disease MESH life stresses
drug DRUGBANK Medical air
disease DOID Dementia with Lewy bodies
disease MESH frontotemporal dementia
disease DOID frontotemporal dementia
disease MESH progressive supranuclear palsy
disease DOID progressive supranuclear palsy
disease MESH Vascular dementia
disease DOID Vascular dementia
disease MESH diagnosis
gene UNIPROT EPRS
disease MESH multi
disease MESH depression
disease MESH defects
disease MESH Strokes
gene UNIPROT FBXW7
gene UNIPROT LAT2
disease MESH memory loss
disease MESH Delirium
gene UNIPROT SIRPA
disease MESH hematoma
disease MESH cognitive decline
gene UNIPROT CYREN
disease DOID stroke
disease DOID syphilis
disease MESH syphilis
gene UNIPROT NDUFB3
gene UNIPROT TNFAIP1
drug DRUGBANK Thyrotropin alfa

Original Article

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