Relieving symptomsDementia is one of the most common and most consequential neuropsychiatric diseases in old age. In Germany, nearly one million senior citizens are currently suffering from this decline in their mental capacity. Orientation, judgement, but also language and ability to calculate as well as parts of the personality are gradually destroyed. This is quickly noticeable in everyday activities such as washing, cooking or shopping.
At Schoen Clinic, we're specialised in dementia diseases. Based on a detailed diagnosis, we offer you the optimal treatment for you. We help you delay the symptoms and maintain your quality of life as long as possible.
Causes & symptoms
Forms of dementia
Alzheimer’s disease (about 50 – 60% of cases)
The massive loss of nerve cells, which is usually most pronounced in the temporal and parietal lobes of the brain, is characteristic of the disease.
Vascular dementia (about 5 – 20% of cases)
This affects the blood vessels supplying the brain. Cause are either infarctions in the supply area of large brain-supplying blood vessels or arteriosclerosis. The symptoms differ, depending on the location of the damage in the brain.
Frontotemporal dementia (about 5 – 15% of cases)
Group of diseases with loss of nerve cells in the frontal lobes or anterior parietal lobes of the brain. A distinction is made between three sub-forms, all of which often slowly begin from the age of about 50:
- Frontotemporal dementia
slowly progressive personality change and loss of social skills
- Semantic dementia
Difficulty understanding the meaning of words and objects
- Primary progressive aphasia
Difficult to pronounce words correctly
Lewy body dementia (about 5 - 15% of cases)
Characteristic are movement disorders in the sense of Parkinson's symptoms, a significantly fluctuating mental capacity and the early occurrence of visual hallucinations. In addition, there is a pronounced hypersensitivity to drugs used to prevent hallucinations. Often, falls, short-term unconsciousness and disorders of the autonomic functions with low blood pressure and incontinence occur.
Mixed dementia (about 10 – 15% of cases)
Mixed form between Alzheimer’s dementia and vascular dementia. In addition to the typical Alzheimer’s symptoms, circulatory disorders can be detected in the brain.
Dementia: Causes of the disease
Neurodegenerative dementia leads to an accumulation of protein in the brain, which gradually leads to the death of brain cells. Depending on the location of this process, different symptoms occur at different times of the disease. It has been learned that all factors that can lead to a stroke (such as smoking) also increase the risk of developing dementia.
Although dementia research has made great progress in recent years, many questions still remain unanswered.
Dementia symptoms: These signs indicate a disease
Forgetfulness alone does not yet indicate dementia. This occurs only when the following symptoms have been present for at least six months, with no indication of a temporary state of confusion:
- Impaired memory
- Disruption in another area of cognitive functioning (for example, language, attention, thinking and ability to make judgements, spatial perception)
- Emotional instability, irritability, sedatedness or more abrasive social manners
All symptoms must be so pronounced that they lead to significant impairments in everyday life.
In the early stage of dementia, those affected experience the start of forgetfulness, difficulties concentrating and misjudgements of situations very consciously. However, they often cannot adequately assess the severity of the impairment and its impact on everyday life. They try to hide their deficits from their environment and develop compensatory mechanisms. This often results in depressive symptoms and anxiety.
Over the course of dementia, patients are less aware of or deny their dysfunctions. In the middle stage of dementia, they increasingly feel the inability to cope with everyday life.
In the last stage of the disease, verbal communication in particular declines sharply. Nevertheless, even seriously ill patients still have capabilities, especially in the emotional field.
Symptoms – Dementia
- Forgetting recent events
- Difficulties carrying out habitual activities, speech disorders
- Dwindling interest in work, hobbies and friends
- Difficulties finding one's way around in unfamiliar environments
- Loss of control over financial affairs
- Misjudging dangers
- Mood fluctuations that have not occurred previously, persistent anxiety, irritability and mistrust
- Persistent denial of errors, confusion or mistakes