Dementia is a term that refers to the loss of memory and deterioration of other cognitive functions. The most common form of dementia that most people are familiar with is Alzheimer’s Disease, where individuals experience gradual memory loss until they forget people close to them and past experiences. Dementia affects the brain in a variety of ways that can significantly impact the quality of your life and function. Every year, millions of Americans deal with loved ones struggling with some form of dementia. The effects are stressful and treating dementia can be very expensive. The hope is that developments in brain treatments can delay the onset of dementia and even reduce their impacts.
Symptoms of Dementia
Dementia is a general term like cancer or heart disease. It doesn’t point to a specific disease, but rather a condition that affects brain performance. As stated, the majority of dementia cases are related to Alzheimer’s Disease. Here are some of the common symptoms.
If you or someone you know is experiencing more frequent short-term memory loss, it could be a sign of oncoming dementia. Things like forgetting names, the location of keys or wallets, or even things the individual has done lately are common symptoms. When things progress further, people suffering from dementia can forget to cook or plan meals, miss appointments, or forget where they are at any given moment. People with dementia regularly forget who their family members and friends are, which can be especially troubling for people close to them.
As with many other diseases, early recognition of dementia is vital to effective treatment. The sooner you find out you or a loved one is facing dementia, the earlier you can begin fighting against its onset. There are exercises, medical procedures, and medicines you can take to improve memory and general cognitive function short-term, but currently, there are few, if any, proven treatments for dementia.
There are, however, some promising developments on the horizon. Semax, a peptide developed in Russia, has shown positive results in tests done on rats and mice. In the clinical tests, Semax was shown to boost memory and learning. Though the peptide doesn’t have any proven results on humans yet, the tests done on rats show that there is some possible positive benefit like the offsetting of memory loss and other cognitive losses. The results point to exciting possibilities in the future treatment of memory loss and other types of dementia.
Many types of dementia are hereditary, meaning they are passed down from family members. Some people are born with a genetic inclination to Alzheimer’s Disease and other types of dementia. Currently, there is little those people can do to fight the disease. However, doctors encourage all people to do practical things to maintain healthy brain function and overall health to fight the effects of dementia. Things like keeping a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and keeping your brain active are all highly recommended. Not smoking is also believed to be a way to avoid cognitive decline and keep your brain healthier for longer.