dementia
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S: The Guardian – https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/oct/25/the-dementia-that-can-be-cured (last access: 1 November 2020);  HLN – https://www.healthline.com/health/dementia (last access: 5 November 2020).

N: 1. It was first recorded in 1806, comes from the Latin word dementia which means “madness, insanity”, literally “a being out of one’s mind”.
It existed an earlier Englished form called demency (1520s), which came from the French word démence.
2. Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning—thinking, remembering, and reasoning—and behavioral abilities to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities.
3. Although age is the strongest known risk factor for dementia, it is not an inevitable consequence of ageing. Further, dementia does not exclusively affect older people. Many studies show that people can reduce their risk of dementia by getting regular exercise, not smoking, not drinking alcohol, controlling their weight, and eating a healthy diet. Additional risk factors include depression, low educational attainment, social isolation, and cognitive inactivity.
4. Different types of dementia can affect people differently, and everyone will experience symptoms in their own way.

However, there are some common early symptoms that may appear some time before a diagnosis of dementia. These include:

  • memory loss
  • difficulty concentrating
  • finding it hard to carry out familiar daily tasks, such as getting confused over the correct change when shopping
  • struggling to follow a conversation or find the right word
  • being confused about time and place
  • mood changes

These symptoms are often mild and may get worse only very gradually. It’s often termed “mild cognitive impairment” (MCI) as the symptoms are not severe enough to be diagnosed as dementia.

5. Various disorders and factors contribute to the development of dementia. Neurodegenerative disorders result in a progressive and irreversible loss of neurons and brain functioning. They include:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Frontotemporal disorders
  • Lewy body dementia

Other types of progressive brain disease include:

  • Vascular contributions to cognitive impairment and dementia
  • Mixed dementia, a combination of two or more types of dementia

6. Do not confuse “dementia” with “delusion”, disease that affects mainly attention and is typically caused by acute illness or drug toxicity, and “amentia”, which is a mental impairment or a state of being mentally handicapped.

S: 1. OED –  https://www.etymonline.com/word/dementia#etymonline_v_29471 (last access: 3 November 2020). 2. NIA –  https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-dementia-symptoms-types-and-diagnosis (last access: 3 November 2020). 3. WHO – https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dementia (last access: 5 November 2020). 4. NHS – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dementia/symptoms/ (last access: 5 November 2020). 5. NIA – https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-dementia-symptoms-types-and-diagnosis (last access: 5 November 2020). 6. MSD – https://www.msdmanuals.com/professional/neurologic-disorders/delirium-and-dementia/overview-of-delirium-and-dementia (last access: 5 November 2020); WikiDiff – https://wikidiff.com/amentia/dementia (last access: 5 November 2020).

SYN: major neurocognitive disorder, major NCD.

S: 1. GDT  – http://gdt.oqlf.gouv.qc.ca/ficheOqlf.aspx?Id_Fiche=17029414 (last access: 1 November 2020)

CR: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, delusion, Huntington’s chorea, memory, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease.