3 things about dementia

Over 47 million people live with Alzheimer’s and other dementias worldwide.

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, and a great opportunity to take action against this fatal disease and other dementias.

Dementia is not a normal part of aging, but age is the biggest risk factor. Here are 3 things to know about dementia.

1. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, dementia is not a single disease; it’s an overall term — like heart disease — that covers a wide range of specific medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Vascular dementia, the second most common cause of dementia, occurs because of microscopic bleeding and blood vessel blockage in the brain. Those who experience the brain changes of multiple types of dementia simultaneously have mixed dementia.

2. Signs and symptoms of dementia can vary greatly.

Although most people associate dementia with memory loss, the condition affects people in a variety of ways.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, visual perception, reasoning and judgment and communication and language can also be impaired. Common symptoms include difficulties concentrating, problems planning and thinking through things or struggling with familiar daily tasks, like following a recipe.

3. There is no cure for dementia, but treatments are available.

Medications are available to help with some types of dementia and stop the progression of symptoms. Occupational therapy can help prevent accidents and falls, manage behavior and teach coping behaviors.

Research reported at the 2019 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® suggests that adopting multiple healthy lifestyle choices, including healthy diet, not smoking, regular exercise and cognitive stimulation, may decrease the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.

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