Dementia describes a group of symptoms that involve a decline in mental function. It is most often progressive, starting subtly and getting worse over time, but dementia can also come on suddenly.
Alzheimer’s disease accounts for most dementia cases, but the two terms are not interchangeable. Several other disorders can cause dementia.
Have you noticed signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in yourself or a loved one? Experts at Dignity Health Neurological Institute of Northern California can provide diagnosis and personalized treatment for dementia and Alzheimer’s in Sacramento, CA and surrounding areas. Find a Doctor and schedule an appointment to receive the care you need.
What Causes Dementia & Alzheimer's?
When you visit one of our specialist, we can explain that there are many causes of dementia. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which results from a buildup of plaques (called tangles) in the brain that seem to interrupt the nerve messages, causing brain cells to die. Researchers do not know why this happens.
Other causes include:
- Vascular dementia, caused by blocked or reduced blood flow to the brain
- Frontotemporal dementia, from nerve cell damage in the brain’s frontal lobes
- Dementia with Lewy bodies, due to abnormal microscopic deposits that damage brain cells
- Neurologic disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease
- Drug side effects
- Brain trauma
- Exposure to toxins
- Nutritional deficiencies
Dementia & Alzheimer's Disease Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of dementia can vary depending on the cause, but the most common ones include:
- Memory loss
- Change in personality
- Getting lost in familiar surroundings
- Forgetting words or losing track of conversations
- Having difficulty planning or organizing
- Confusion and disorientation
- Inappropriate behavior
Prevention & Treatment for Dementia & Alzheimer's Disease in Northern California
Right now, there is no active way to prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. However, research is showing that people who stay mentally and physically active as they get older have a lower chance of developing dementia.
Living a healthy lifestyle may also help you avoid some of the other causes of dementia. Healthy lifestyle habits include:
- Drinking a healthy amount of fluid throughout the day
- Eating a healthy diet
- Exercising regularly
- Receiving rapid treatment for infections and other illnesses
- Staying socially connected in your community
At Dignity Health, our experienced neuropsychologists will complete a comprehensive clinical interview and evaluate your brain function through testing memory and thinking skills. The results help us to create a diagnosis and treatment plan that is suited to your needs.
Treatment for dementia focuses on managing symptoms, such as medications for anxiety, to help improve quality of life. If dementia is due to other causes, such as infections or nutritional deficiencies, once those are treated, it is possible the dementia may be reversed or stop progressing.
Our renowned team is committed to offering the highest quality neurological care available in the region. Reach out to us today. Dignity Health Neurological Institute provides personal care for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in the Sacramento region.