Dementia is a mental disorder that includes memory impairment and at least one of the following: difficulty speaking, impaired movement, and inability to plan and initiate appropriate behaviors socially or at work. Dementia usually occurs in elderly people. It is rare in children. Approximately 2 to 4 percent of the population over age 65 has dementia caused by Alzheimer's disease.

Signs and Symptoms

What Causes It?

Alzheimer's disease accounts for half to two-thirds of all dementia cases. Other causes of dementia are listed below.

What to Expect at Your Provider's Office

Your health care provider will go over your symptoms and will do a physical examination. However, since there is no definitive test for dementia, your provider will rely greatly on interviews with you and your family, especially to discover noticeable declines in mental and physical abilities.

Treatment Options

Treatments are aimed at reversing or lessening the symptoms. A combination of drug and psychiatric or behavioral therapies will be used. Your health care provider may also closely evaluate current medications if you are elderly and have dementia, since older people are extremely sensitive to drugs. Exercise, both physical and mental, can slow the progress of dementia.

Complementary and Alternative Therapies

Alternative therapies may offer great promise in treating dementia without the side effects of pharmaceuticals. Treatment with nutrition can provide rapid results in some people with nutritional deficiencies. Herbal treatment is widely used in Europe with promising results.

Nutrition Herbs
Herbs may be used as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Unless otherwise indicated, teas should be made with 1 tsp. herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers, and 10 to 20 minutes for roots. Drink 2 to 4 cups per day.

Choose four to six herbs from the most appropriate category and use one cup or 30 to 60 drops three times per day. Homeopathy
Some of the most common remedies used for dementia are listed below. Usually, the dose is 3 to 5 pellets of a 12X to 30C remedy every one to four hours until your symptoms get better.

Following Up

Someone with dementia probably will require continuous care and monitoring by both your health care provider and family members.

Special Considerations

Caregiver and patient education focusing on knowledge of the disease, health, and the patient's well-being results in better patient care. Caregivers must also closely monitor patients to make sure they are taking medications appropriately.


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