When is the best time to take dementia medication?

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Dementia is a several diseases that affect the ability to perform daily activities by affecting cognitive function. Cognitive function includes the way a person remembers, reasoning, problem-solving, language and other thinking abilities. Dementia can greatly affect a person’s ability to live on their own and often need assistance from others.  Currently more than 55 million people have dementia. Dementia can result from a variety of diseases that affect the brain. There are medicines that could help to treat dementia such as Exelon patch. In this article, we will be learning more about dementia.

Dementia is a general term used to describe a condition of a person with impairment of cognitive function that is severe to the extent of interfering with their daily life. Dementia affects about one-third of the population aged 85 and above. It is worth noting that dementia is not part of a normal ageing process although statistically it shows most dementia patients are the elderly. In general, dementia is caused by damages to or changes in the brain. The main cause of dementia is the damage to or changes in the brain. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is caused by the abnormal build-up proteins of amyloid and tau. Amyloid build-up around the brain cells causes plaques whereas tau form “tangles” within the brain cells. Other causes of dementia include:

1)  Vascular dementia. Dementia that occurs due to microscopic bleeding and blood vessel blockage in the brain such as those with hypertension, severe hardening of the arteries or small strokes.

2)  Parkinson’s disease. Dementia that occurs about 10 years after Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed.

3)  Dementia with Lewy bodies. Lewy bodies are tiny clumps of a protein known as alpha-synuclein that damages the way the brain works and eventually leads to death of brain cells. It is often associated with Parkinson’s disease.

4)  Frontotemporal dementia. Also known as Pick’s disease, this dementia affects younger people between the ages 45 to 65 years old. It is caused by tau in the frontal and temporal lobes of the front and sides of the brain.

5)  Severe head injury.

These are the most common causes of dementia. Rare causes include Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis, leukoencephalopathies, infections, progressive supranuclear palsy and corticobasal degeneration. Dementia could also be inherited but this is a rare case. Inherited dementia is often suspected when someone younger than 50 has dementia symptoms.

Since dementia can be caused by many causes, symptoms of dementia also vary greatly. However, common dementia symptoms can give clues that a person is experiencing dementia. Common symptoms are short-term memory, difficulty concentrating, difficulty to perform familiar daily tasks, struggling to keep up with a conversation, lost track of time or place and mood changes. These symptoms initially start as mild symptoms but as time goes by and progress, it will get worse leading to dementia. When a person experiences these symptoms in a mild manner, they might not be labelled with dementia immediately and the right term for these symptoms is “mild cognitive impairment” (MCI). People with MCI may or may not resort to dementia. Hence, dementia is not a natural  part of the ageing process because MCI itself might actually stay the same and not get worse.

For more information, go to steroids-uk.com. Dementia is a general term used to describe a condition of a person with impairment of cognitive function that is severe to the extent of interfering with their daily life. Dementia affects about one-third of the population aged 85 and above. It is worth noting that dementia is not part of a normal aging process although statistically it shows most dementia patients are the elderly. In general, dementia is caused by damages to or changes in the brain. The main cause of dementia is the damage to or changes in the brain. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is caused by the abnormal build-up proteins of amyloid and tau.

Currently, there is no cure for dementia. Treatments available aim to slow down the dementia progress and to improve symptoms. In general, treatment depends on the cause of dementia. Finding the cause of dementia is not easy as there is no one test that can directly determine the cause but doctors usually evaluate the dementia symptoms, laboratory test, brain imaging test and the characteristics of cognitive function disability to find the cause. Medications such as cholinesterase inhibitors like donepezil and NMDA receptor antagonists like memantine are prescribed by doctors. In case of vascular dementia, antihypertensive drugs are proven to be beneficial. Antidepressant may be prescribed in those with dementia and having depression symptoms.

The best time to take dementia medication is usually in the evening, right before hitting the sack or bedtime. Medications often take weeks before patients are able to feel differences. It is best to take medication at the same time of the day as it can help patients adhere to medication. Caretakers or those taking care of patients can help remind patients to take medication as needed and instructed by doctors. If a medication doesn’t seem to be helping, or the benefits are not worth the side effects, then the person may wish to consider discussing with their healthcare provider and consider other options.

Treatment of dementia is more than taking medication. This includes patients taking extra steps to maintain a healthy lifestyle consisting of practising good eating habits and being physically active. Patients with dementia should also take part in activities that help to improve their cognitive function such as having specific hobbies. It is best for patients with dementia to stay socially active by keeping in touch with people around them and engage in social activities. Regular medical check-up should be a must for patients.

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