This essay Dementiaa has a total of 9017 words and 80 pages.
IntrodWhat is Dementia ?uction
Dementia is an organic brain syndrome which results in global cognitive impairments. Dementia can
occur as a result of a variety of neurological diseases. Some of the more well known dementing diseases
include Alzheimer’s disease (AD), multi-infarct dementia (MID), and Huntington’s disease (HD).
Throughout this essay the emphasis will be placed on AD (also known as dementia of the Alzheimer’s type,
and primary degenerative dementia), because statistically it is the most significant dementing disease
occurring in over 50% of demented patients (see epidemiology).
The clinical picture in dementia is very similar to delirium, except for the course. Delirium is an acute
transitory disorder. By contrast Dementia is a long term progressive disorder (with the exception of the
reversible dementias). The course of AD can range anywhere from 1.5 to 15 years with an average of
about 8.1 years (Terry , 1988). AD is usually divided into three stages mild, moderate, and severe.
Throughout these stages a specific sequence of cognitive deterioration is observed (Lezak, 1993). The mild
stage begins with memory, attention, speed dependent activities, and abstract reasoning dysfunction. Also
mild language impairments begin to surface. In the moderate stage, language deficits such as aphasia and
apraxia become prominent. Dysfluency, paraphasias, and bizzare word combinations are common midstage
speech defects. In the severe stage the patient is gradually reduced to a vegetative state. Speech becomes
nonfluent, repetitive, and largely non-communicative. Auditory comprehension is exceedingly limited, with
many patients displaying partial or complete mutism. Late in the course of the disease many
neuropsychological functions can no longer be measured. Also primitive reflexes such as grasp and suck
emerge. Death usually results from a disease such as pneumonia which overwhelms the limited vegetative
functions of the patient.
According to the Encyclopedia of Neuroscience dementia is defined as a “…sustained, multidimensional
loss of cognitive function secondary to organic central nervous system damage, unaccompanied by evidence
of an acute superimposed state of clouded consciousness as occurs with delirium or reduced arousal.”
Dementia is not a disease but rather a symptom of many conditions causing brain dysfunction. It arises as
a result of severe and diffuse brain damage. The essential feature of dementia is an intellectual decline
resulting from a progressive deterioration in brain functioning.
Dementia can occur as a result of a variety of neurological diseases. These include: Alzheimer’s disease
(dementia of the Alzheimer type), cerebrovascular disease in particular Multi-infract dementia (vascular
dementia), alcohol related diseases such as Marchiafava-Bignami disease (alcoholic dementia), AIDS (AIDS
DementiaaDementiaa IntrodWhat is Dementia ?uction Dementia is an organic brain syndrome which results in global cognitive impairments. Dementia can occur as a result of a variety of neurological diseases. Some of the more well known dementing diseases include Alzheimer’s disease (AD), multi-infarct dementia (MID), and Huntington’s disease (HD). Throughout this essay the emphasis will be placed on AD (also known as dementia of the Alzheimer’s type, and primary degenerative dementia), because statistically
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