Dementia is a disorder of reason that involves a progressive and irreversible deterioration of mental faculties. Those who suffer from dementia experience serious disorders in behavior and cognitive functions, to the point of not being able to continue carrying out their daily activities.
Senile, on the other hand, is what belongs to or relates to a person of advanced age in which physical and/or mental decline is evident.
The notion of senile dementia refers to the disorder of the mind that appears in old age. It is an organic syndrome characterized by memory impairment, judgment and abstract thinking disorders, and personality disturbances.
When senile dementia reaches an advanced stage, the person cannot interact normally or carry out activities autonomously. That is why those who suffer from the disorder must receive permanent attention. However, one of the first pieces of advice that doctors give to relatives of patients with senile dementia is to allow them to do as much for themselves as possible.
Other very common recommendations are: establish routines and schedules to prevent the person from becoming disoriented in their daily life; keep the things that he usually uses always in the same places; display clocks and calendars prominently; prevent access to dangerous substances and sharp objects.
Although there are many associated or similar disorders and syndromes, making a precise definition difficult, specialists agree that senile dementia begins after 65 years of age.
Among the first signs of its appearance are anxiety, paranoid ideas, social isolation, stress, obsessive traits, confusion of dates and locations, constant forgetfulness, extreme mood swings and personality changes, the difficulty to remember terms of daily use and the loss of trust in the closest people.
To proceed to diagnose senile dementia, medicine is based on a series of methods that begin by ruling out other disorders whose symptoms are temporary memory loss and confusion. Next, it is necessary to observe the clinical history of the patient to look for cases of senile dementia in their ancestors and closest relatives. Confirmation of the diagnosis can be obtained through brain scans and a neurological examination, essential steps to notice changes at the physical level.
It is important to distinguish, however, between senile dementia, normal aging, depression, schizophrenia and other disorders with cognitive impairment. Each case has different characteristics and requires different treatments.
The supply of drugs, scheduled and controlled physical exercise and a certain diet can help reduce the alterations linked to senile dementia.
The most common cause of this problem is Alzheimer’s disease, which is found in almost half of senile dementia patients. It is a genetic disorder that destroys neurons, preventing the formation of new memories and gradually destroying the functionality of the human brain.
On the other hand, there are alcoholism, the abusive consumption of steroids, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases, bacterial or viral encephalitis and multiple sclerosis; The reason is that taking certain medications to treat these problems can cause damage to brain tissue.
Another cause of senile dementia can be a deficiency of niacin and thiamine (two B vitamins); once its levels are restored, it is possible that the symptoms will be reversed. Finally, exposure to mercury or lead can also cause senile dementia.