Dementia can have many causes. Usually there is a growing decline in memory, and everyday skills such as language and concentration can also be affected. Quizzes and brain-teasers, social contact and activities such as going to the theatre help maintain mental performance
- Memory disorders
- Short-term memory is frequently affected first, and later also long-term memory
- Problems with orientation
- Worsening of everyday skills: counting, language, concentration
- Personality changes (e.g. severe anxiety, aggression)
- Using things for the wrong purpose, e.g. using the oven as a heater
- With time, patients often require care
Causes and treatment
- Alzheimer's disease (most common cause of dementia)
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Parkinson's disease
- Dementia with Lewy bodies
- Vascular dementia
- Accident with serious brain injury
- Alcohol dependence
Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital
- Dementia tests (e.g. mini mental state exam, clock-drawing test, MoCA test, etc.)
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
- CT scan (computed tomography)
- Neurological examination (testing of brain functions, walking along a line, etc.)
- Blood test (blood salts, haemoglobin, sugar, etc.)
What can I do myself?
- “Brain training”: quizzes and brain-teasers, crossword puzzles, Sudoku, etc.
- Regular exercise
- Keep up social contacts
- Activities such as cinema, theatre, etc.
- As a close relative, show lots of patience
- Long-term memory can be activated with photos, etc.
- As few changes as possible to the patient's daily routine
- Caring for a patient with dementia is demanding: make use of offers of help at an early stage
When to see a doctor?
- Growing forgetfulness
- Difficulties coping with everyday life
- Growing neglect (e.g. body hygiene is neglected)