Dementia Diagnosis and Treatment

What is dementia?

Dementia is the most serious form of memory problem. It causes a loss of mental ability and other symptoms. It can be caused by various disorders which affect part of the brain involved with thought processes. Most cases are caused by Alzheimer’s Disease, vascular dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies. 

What are common dementia symptoms?

Symptoms of dementia patients can vary. However, common symptoms include:

  • Memory loss
  • Confusion and disorientation 
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Difficulty speaking and writing
  • Misplacing personal possessions
  • Poor judgement 

How is dementia assessed?

Psychological testing can enable the differentiation between the different kinds of dementia which scans often cannot. Dementia like symptoms are sometimes caused by depression and anxiety. Psychological tests can differentiate between these conditions. Once the cause has been diagnosed the clinical psychologist can recommend appropriate strategies for coping with and improving memory. 

Treatment and benefits

A profile of deficits is then drawn up by the psychologist and a treatment plan agreed with the patient including memory training, memory management or psychological therapy to help with the depression and anxiety.

If the diagnosis is dementia then the most appropriate course of action after memory training, is to refer the patient on to a Memory Clinic for ongoing medical and psychological treatment and support as it is a long term degenerative illness. This can be provided within the private sector in some hospitals or within the NHS.

Benefits: Accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Effective dementia treatment can help manage and in some cases reduce dementia symptoms.  

Safety: Non – invasive. Very safe.

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