What is Dementia:-
Dementia comes from a Latin word “Demens” which means “absence of mind”.
Chronic impairment of thinking (i.e. loss of mental capacity) that affects a person’s ability to function in a social or occupational setting. The impairment is severe enough to interfere with the patient’s ability to perform routine activities.
Dementia is not a specific disease. It is a descriptive term for a collection of symptoms that can be caused by a number of disorders that affect the brain. A progressive decline in cognitive function (intellectual functioning) due to damage or disease in the brain beyond what might be expected from normal aging. Areas particularly affected include memory, attention, judgment, language and problem solving; madness or insanity.
Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) estimates that there are currently 30 million people with dementia in the world, with4.6 million new cases annually (one new case every 7 seconds). The number of people affected will be over 100 million by 2050.
The age group most commonly affected by this illness is 60 and over. Still, there are some risk groups that are not age dependent, such as people that suffer from high blood pressure, smokers, high cholesterol patients and so on.
Homoeopathic treatment and remedies are geared towards the individual who has dementia, not a one-size-fits-all drug based approach like conventional medicine, which has had no success in curing dementia like conditions.
Mental health problems can benefit from homeopathic remedies. This statement is clearly evident when you consider a typical case scenario involving a person who is suffering from anxiety. He or she makes an appointment to see a physician. After taking blood pressure and medical history, the patient may then be prescribed an anti anxiety drug. At no time during the course of the exam would the physician try to determine what precipitates the anxiety.
In conventional medicine, prescribing a drug only treats the symptoms, not the underlying cause. While the symptoms are suppressed, the illness remains.
Homeopathy addresses the imbalance by treating the whole person. The remedies used stimulate the patient’s mind and body in order to bring them into balance while, at the same time, eliminating the symptoms.
Homeopathic medicines play a promising role in the early treatment of dementia. One of the chief benefits is they have zero side effects compared with the conventional conventional treatment. The sooner the treatment is begun, the better the outcome. Therefore, if you have family members with a history of dementia, or other states involving poor memory, then you may start taking these remedies prior to the onset of symptoms to delay or possibly prevent the advent of symptoms.
Homeopathy also has promising long term therapies for people suffering from memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Living with dementia means not only taking efforts to manage it, but coping with the ways in which it can affect your life. conventional treatment adds on to the problem. Different medicines are prescribed by allopaths for different symptoms of dementia with which the problem worsens. The mental and physical health of the patient deteriorates very badly with conventional treatment.
Unlike the stimulant drugs homeopathy does not try to suppress elements of an individual’s behavior, rather it aims to redress any imbalance in the body naturally without altering the body with drugs.
Reasons for a patient to choose homoeopathic treatment
Excellent safety record – no drug interactions or side effects
Works with the natural healing ability of the body to resolve the true cause of imbalance
How homeopathy acts:-
The medicines remove blockages from your blood vessels, improving blood circulation to the fine arteries and veins of your brain, thereby slowing the degenerative process.
The remedies reduce mental, hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalances that lead to dementia.
Medicines help in repairing your damaged brain cells and improving your memory and reasoning power.
Acting on your sympathetic nervous system homeopathic remedies reduce anxiety associated with dementia.
It helps reducing mood fluctuations and depression.
The treatment helps to restore cognitive functions, and improving language and learning abilities.
So homeopathy offers effective treatment for dementia and other mental problems.
There are 49 medicines which give great relief in dementia. However, the correct choice and the resulting relief is a matter of experience and right judgment on the part of the doctor. The treatment is decided after thorough case taking of the patient. Thus homeopathic remedies are designer made unlike conventional in which all patients receive the same drugs although trade name may be different.
The causes can be divided into primary and secondary causes.
Primary causes of dementia include a number of neurological disorders, from the well known Alzheimer’s disease to less familiar disorders, such as Pick’s disease. The various disorders included in the primary causes are:
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, and the disease most people associate with memory loss. Alzheimer’s disease is usually diagnosed after age 80, and is uncommon in people under the age of 65.
Vascular dementia occurs when small strokes or brain lesions impair blood flow to the brain. It is the cause of twenty percent of dementia cases, making it the second most common cause after Alzheimer’s disease.
Pick’s disease symptoms are often hard to distinguish from Alzheimer’s disease. Pick’s disease damages nerve cells in the brain’s frontal and temporal lobes. Nerve cells affected by Pick’s disease weaken and eventually die.
Huntington’s disease is a genetically inherited neurological disease that can cause dementia. Huntington’s disease causes behavioral changes, and chorea (chorea is involuntary dance-like movements). The usual age of Huntington’s disease onset is between forty and sixty years old.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disease that affects movement and muscle control. Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include tremors, balance problems, difficulty walking, and a rigid posture.
Lewy-body dementia may be related to Alzheimer’s disease. The cause is the presence of abnormal substances called Lewy-bodies in parts of the brain such as the cortex and brain stem. Lewy-body dementia causes classic dementia symptoms, including memory loss. The disease can also cause hallucinations, depression, and paranoia.
Dementia like symptoms can develop as a result of an underlying medical condition. If the underlying condition can be treated, the symptoms will generally improve. The following are some of the more common secondary causes that can lead to dementia.
Alcohol Dementia and Substance Abuse
Alcohol abuse can lead to symptoms of dementia. The long term toxic effects of alcohol on the brain are enough to cause it. Symptoms can often be improved by abstaining from alcohol.
A number of infections that affect the central nervous system have been known to cause dementia symptoms, including HIV, meningitis, and encephalitis.
As people age, they tend to require more medication for their health. Many of the medications include dementia symptoms as a side effect. The list of medications is incredibly long, and includes such common medications as anti diarrhea medication, anti epileptic medications, antihistamines, cold and flu medication, sleeping pills, tricyclic antidepressants.
Depression can result in dementia symptoms, including memory loss and a lack of motivation. Elderly people dealing with health problems, the loss of a spouse, or loneliness are particularly susceptible to depression. Treating the depression often results in the reversal of dementia symptoms.
Metabolic disorders can also cause symptoms of dementia. These disorders include cortisol hormone imbalances, diabetes, electrolyte levels (calcium and sodium imbalances), kidney failure, liver diseases, and thyroid disorders.
It results from a deficiency in thiamine (Vitamin B1) and is often due to chronic, severe alcoholism. It can also result from general malnutrition, eating disorders, or the effects of chemotherapy. Dementia due to Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome involves confusion, apathy, hallucinations, communication problems, and severe memory impairment.
Brain tumors put pressure on and damage the surrounding brain tissue. A brain tumor can cause a number of symptoms, including dementia. The tumor may originate in the brain, or may have spread to the brain from other organs.
Symptoms can be divided into early, moderate and severe symptoms.
Early indications that someone may be suffering from the onset of dementia include :
Difficulty with regular tasks. Everyone is absentminded from time to time, but people suffering from dementia will begin to have trouble even with tasks they’ve been doing for most of their lives with no problems, such as cooking or driving.
Forgetfulness at work, having negative consequences, such as frequently forgetting appointments, or deadlines.
Becoming apathetic, losing the ability, or desire, to take initiative on tasks, or take part in hobbies and activities.
Problems remembering familiar locations, such as where the patient lives, or what year it is.
Problems with abstract thinking, which is the ability to make and understand generalizations. Could lead to difficulty handling money.
Trouble remembering simple words; often dementia sufferers will substitute inappropriate words without realizing, making them difficult to understand.
Sudden mood swings with no obvious causes. Changes in personality and increased irritability are also possible.
Dementia sufferers will experience diminished judgment, often doing or saying completely inappropriate things.
Losing things and blaming others for “stealing” from them.
Moerate dementia / intermediate dementia
During this phase, the symptoms will likely become more obvious. They may include :
Forgetting recent events, becoming confused about times and places, remembering events from the past as though they are the present.
Forgetting names and faces, confusing family members with each other.
Becoming lost, wandering outdoors, often at inappropriate times or in inappropriate clothing.
Forgetting to eat, or maintain proper hygiene.
Auditory and visual hallucinations.
Getting frustrated and becoming upset or angry.
This is the final stage of dementia; patients will likely be unable to care for themselves and need round the clock care. Symptoms may include :
Failure to recognize even objects that we use every day.
Restlessness, inability to sleep.
Symptoms worsen at night.
No longer recognize family or friends; may search for long-dead relatives.
Need help using the toilet, washing or getting dressed.
Difficulty walking and getting around.
Become aggressive and easily threatened.
A diagnosis requires a medical history; physical examination, including neurological examination and appropriate laboratory tests.
Taking a thorough medical history involves gathering information about the onset, duration, and progression of symptoms; any possible risk factors for dementia, such as a family history of the disorder or other neurological disease; history of stroke; and alcohol or other drug (prescription or over-the-counter) use.
The various laboratory investigations include
Thyroid hormone tests to check for an underactive thyroid.
Vitamin B12 blood test to look for a vitamin deficiency.
Complete blood count, or CBC, to look for infections.
ALT or AST, blood tests that check liver function.
Syphilis test to look for this disease.
Chemistry screen to check the level of electrolytes in the blood and to check kidney function.
Glucose test to check the level of sugar in the blood.
MRI or CT to look for tumors.
Other lab tests that may be done include
HIV testing to look for AIDS.
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate, a blood test that looks for signs of inflammation in the body.
Toxicology screen, which examines blood, urine, or hair to look for drugs that could be causing problems.
Antinuclear antibodies, a blood test used to diagnose autoimmune diseases.
Testing for heavy metals in the blood, such as a lead test.
Diet / Nutrition
Research suggests that adopting a “brain healthy” diet can reduce the risk for developing dementia.
A brain healthy diet avoids saturated fat and cholesterol and includes : Dark skinned fruits and vegetables, such as red bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, eggplant, Brussels sprouts, beets, red grapes, cherries, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, and oranges. Cold water fish such as anchovies, herring, salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, and whitefish. Other foods that contain Omega 3 fatty acids, such as avocados, Brazil nuts, canola oil, cashews, flaxseed oil, green leafy vegetables, olive oil, peanut oil, pistachios, and walnuts.
Starting and maintaining a regular exercise program is often the most difficult lifestyle change to implement with regard to brain health.
Social interaction is good for the brain because it stimulates connections between brain cells, particularly in the tips of the frontal lobe (the front part of the brain). Research suggests that social activities which combine physical and mental activity are the most effective at preventing dementia.