Dementia diagnosis and treatment

What is dementia?

Dementia is not a disease, but a syndrome that is associated with an ongoing decline of the brain and its abilities. Dementia is a progressive illness, yet each person presents differently. 
Some of the symptoms include: 

  • Loss of memory e.g. Memory of recent events, misplacing or losing objects

  • Repetitive questioning
  • Difficulty with communication
  • Ability to think clearly
  • Mood changes, including anxiety and worry
  • Difficulty in comprehension and understanding
  • Disorientation to time
  • Decreased social interaction and withdrawal
  • Irritability and frustration
  • Difficulty with day to day tasks e.g.: cooking and shopping.

What should I do?
It is important to contact your GP or a specialist as early as possible. However, confirming a diagnosis of dementia can be difficult, particularly when the condition is in its early stages. This is because many of the symptoms of dementia can be caused by other conditions.
In order for dementia to be diagnosed correctly, you will have a number of different tests and assessments including: 

  • a review of your personal history including education and employment
  • a review of your medical history
  • a full assessment of your mental abilities
  • a range of tests, including blood tests to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms
  • imaging scans, which can provide information about the physical state and structure of your brain
  • a review of any medication you may be taking, in case these are contributing to your symptoms.

When dementia is diagnosed treatment is generally in the form of medication. These medicines help with the symptoms occurring in dementia. The medicines do not cure the syndrome, but temporarily slow down the progression.

Want to look at other treatments? or find it on the A-Z list.