Dementia affects people with incurable conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, causing worsening memory loss, confusion, and personality changes. Dr. Lominchar offers compassionate care to patients and their families when dementia strikes. To discover what you can do to delay dementia’s progression, call Palmetto Weight Management & Internal Medicine, LLC today or use the online booking form to schedule a consultation.

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What is dementia?

Dementia isn’t a disease but a collection of symptoms that can develop as part of several neurological illnesses. The most well-known sign of dementia is memory loss. Still, there are many others, including:

  • Difficulties communicating
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Loss of planning and organizational skills
  • Problems with reasoning and problem-solving
  • Personality changes
  • Inappropriate or out-of-character behavior
  • Inability to perform complex or challenging tasks
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Agitation

Friends and family members tend to pick up on early signs of dementia, such as memory loss, before the person affected is aware of their symptoms.

As dementia progresses, patients require increased levels of care. In its final stages, dementia can cause severe memory and motor function loss. This means patients may become bedbound and have problems swallowing. Memory loss can be so profound that the affected person doesn’t recognize close friends and family members.

What causes dementia?

Dementia develops due to neuron (nerve cell) damage in the brain. The effects of dementia differ depending on where the damage occurs.

Most diseases that cause dementia are progressive and incurable disorders such as:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Lewy body dementia
  • Vascular dementia
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Mixed dementia (a combination of different conditions)

Traumatic brain injuries can also cause dementia.

Temporary dementia may be a symptom of an infection or an immune system, metabolic, or endocrine disorder, in which case your symptoms may be reversible.

What treatments can help with dementia?

If you have reversible dementia, Dr. Lominchar treats the underlying condition. For example, you might need hormone replacement therapy for hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid). Dr. Lominchar might recommend other medicines to combat symptoms like difficulties sleeping, agitation, and depression.

Patients with incurable dementia benefit from medications such as memantine and cholinesterase inhibitors, which improve brain function and slow down the disease’s progression. The sooner you begin taking these medicines, the more effective they are, so don’t delay getting a diagnosis.

Therapeutic interventions can be invaluable when you have dementia. Art and music therapy help stimulate brain function, and occupational therapy techniques teach you coping strategies to help you manage daily life. Dr. Lominchar also promotes improved nutrition and daily exercise to boost overall health.

If you or someone you love develops signs of dementia, get expert help by calling Palmetto Weight Management & Internal Medicine, LLC. Call the office now or book an appointment online today.