Dementia is a primary symptom of incurable degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. If you or a close family member develops signs of dementia, talk to board-certified neurologist Paul Gill, MD, at Gill Neuroscience in Houston, Texas. Dr. Gill offers the highest quality care to people with all forms of dementia, ensuring they retain their memories and physical function as long as possible. Call Gill Neuroscience today to arrange an appointment or request a consultation via the online form.
Dementia affects brain functions like memory and concentration, which worsen over time. It can be severely disabling, limiting your ability to manage simple everyday tasks.
Dementia isn’t a disease but a symptom of conditions that cause cognitive decline, such as:
Around 70% of people with dementia have Alzheimer’s disease. You can also develop temporary dementia with certain illnesses and brain injuries. To diagnose dementia and its underlying cause, Dr. Gill performs a physical exam followed by cognitive and neuropsychological tests.
These assess brain function, including memory, attention, use of language, and problem-solving ability, all of which dementia usually diminishes. You might also need an MRI or PET scan.
Dementia’s most well-known symptom is memory loss. This typically starts with increasing forgetfulness and problems with short-term memory recall; for example, not knowing how to perform an activity you’ve done many times before or forgetting what year it is.
Aging can also cause forgetfulness, which many people fear might be a sign of dementia. However, dementia makes you forget things you know well, like your address and age. Other dementia symptoms include:
Memory loss often becomes so severe that patients forget years of their life. They may be unable to recognize close friends and family or believe they’re people from decades ago.
Symptoms of advanced dementia include loss of physical function. Patients may be unable to get up unaided, talk, or feed themselves.
Dementia arising from an acute illness or injury may be temporary, improving as you recover. However, dementia caused by long-term conditions like Alzheimer’s disease is incurable. Dr. Gill offers the most effective treatments to help slow the disease’s progress and reduce symptom severity.
If you have vascular dementia due to diseased blood vessels, reducing your blood pressure and cholesterol levels can help. Dr. Gill might prescribe cholinesterase inhibitor medications for mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Another kind of drug, N-Methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonists, can help with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease.
Patients with symptoms like depression might require antidepressant medications. Physical and occupational therapies are also invaluable in helping keep patients physically and mentally active for as long as possible.
Call Gill Neuroscience today or schedule a consultation online for compassionate dementia diagnosis and treatment.