Over 5 million American adults over the age of 65 suffer from dementia, a chronic condition that gradually leads to forgetfulness, memory loss, and cognitive changes. The gradual loss of memory can negatively affect an individual’s life and take away their independence. The Multiple Sclerosis and Neurology Institute of Austin is led by highly-skilled neurologic experts who diagnose dementia and curate a personalized treatment plan to manage the symptoms and help the individual remain independent. If you or a loved one is having memory problems, please schedule a consultation at our medical center with our dementia specialist in Austin.
What is dementia?
Dementia is a medical condition that affects an individual’s ability to remember things. Dementia leads to cognitive decline, preventing the affected individual from remembering important events and details, making independent decisions, or thinking clearly. Even though dementia is common amongst older adults past the age of 65, it’s not a normal part of the aging process. The symptoms of dementia can be terrifying for the affected individual, making them feel like they’re slowly losing control of their lives. Early identification and diagnosis are essential for the optimal management of the symptoms.
What are the symptoms of dementia?
The specific symptoms of dementia vary based on the type of dementia and the root cause. The following are some of the most common signs and symptoms of dementia:
- Loss of memory
- Difficulty in finding common words for objects and thoughts
- Getting lost in familiar places
- Difficulty with reasoning and deduction
- Difficulty with handling complex problems and tasks
- General lack of coordination and loss of motor functions
- General disorientation and confusion
- Personality changes, anxiety, and depression
- Inappropriate behavior
What causes dementia?
Dementia occurs when the nerve cells in the brain (neurons) are damaged or if their connections are lost. The root cause of progressive dementias may vary from one individual to the next. Some of the most common types of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and mixed dementia. You may also develop dementia because of vitamin deficiencies, alcohol abuse, and head trauma. Furthermore, some disorders resemble the symptoms of dementia, such as Huntington’s disease, traumatic brain injury, and Parkinson’s disease. Please consult with our dementia specialist in Austin for more information.
How is dementia diagnosed?
The Multiple Sclerosis and Neurology Institute of Austin performs a thorough evaluation to diagnose dementia. Our doctors will discuss your symptoms, review your medical history, and perform numerous imaging tests to trace the root cause of your memory problems. The diagnostic tests may include electroencephalogram (EEG) tests, brain neuroimaging, carotid or transcranial doppler study, blood works for vitamin deficiencies, and the measurement of electrical activities in the brain. Early diagnosis is essential for the management of symptoms.
What are the treatments for dementia?
The Multiple Sclerosis and Neurology Institute of Austin curates a personalized treatment plan based on the root cause of dementia. If the patient suffers from progressive dementia from neurodegenerative conditions, the treatment plan mostly focuses on managing the symptoms and preventing the condition from worsening. And if dementia is caused by vitamin deficiencies or medication use, our dementia specialist in Austin may curate a treatment plan to address the root cause. The treatment plan is personalized according to your unique needs.