Cortical Dementia – How does it affect a patient

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Cortical Dementia or Subcortical Dementia?


Cortical Dementia - BrainCortical dementia comes from damage to the out layer of the brain.  The word Cortical is a version of the word cortex which is the part of the brain that we are most familiar with, the twists and rolls of the outer part of the brain. It is the outer layer of the brain that will suffer from visible atrophy or shrinkage therefore causing loss of normal brain functioning. Subcortical dementia is found in the areas underneath the cortex or outer layers.


Dementia is not a Disease


Dementia is a symptom of many different disorders or diseases. That is, it is not a disease in and of itself, it is the result of diseases of conditions. The different causes of dementia affect the age of onset, whether the onset is sudden or slow. It affects how it responds to therapy such as whether it will be reversible or not.


Different Classifications of Dementia


Different types of dementia are classified as mixed or localized. The mixed dementia category usually means that there is more than one disorder present at the same time. Such as multi-infarct dementia or a patient could have Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia at the same time. While localized dementia is classified as cortical dementia, subcortical or axial dementia.



Different types of Cortical Dementia


The best known cortical dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Other types of cortical dementia are Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Binswanger’s disease, Pick’s disease and frontotemporal dementia.


The signs and symptoms of cortical dementia


The Cortical layer of the brain is known for handling functions such as language and memory. Early symptoms may include difficulty in remembering names or appointments, forgetting about important events or trouble remembering recent conversations. This can be accompanied by depression and/or apathy. During the later stages of dementia signs may include difficulty trying to communicate, behavioral changes, disorientation, bad judgement, confusion and loss of control trying to walk, speak or swallow.


Subcortical dementia


Since we know that cortical refers to the outer layer of the brain and the prefix “sub” means below or under we can deduce that Subcortical means under the outer layer or cortex. Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s dementia and AIDS related dementia are some of the types of subcortical dementias. Signs of subcortical dementia can include slowing of the thought process or a patient not acting like themselves. Memory and language actually seem unaffected in the earlier stages of subcortical Dementia.


How to help Dementia Sufferers


If a friend or loved one is showing signs of dementia encourage them to see professional physician who can perform tests to accurately diagnose the patient. If they are reluctant to do so, try very hard to convince them to see a doctor.Cortical Dementia - Testing Early detection is very critical to the patient’s treatment and quality of life. Not to mention that some types of dementia are reversible such as dementia that is caused by thyroid problems or vitamin deficiencies.


Delirium and Dementia Testing


It’s important to keep in mind that many elderly people can have dementia like symptoms to surgery, infections, lack of sleep, dehydration, loneliness, personal crisis or poor diet. This is called delirium.  Early detection is a must therefore proper testing and diagnosis can only be administered by trained professionals such as a geriatric psychiatrist or a neurologist.


Helpful Tips and Signs to Look For


Here are a few tips to help when trying to cope with dementia or trying to help a loved one. It helps to know some of the signs of dementia also.


Early Signs of Dementia


  • Strong lack of concentration
  • Losing train of thought mid-sentence
  • Forgetting a word
  • Forgetting the meaning of a word
  • Forgetting names beyond normal
  • Using the wrong word


Ten Tips to Help Communicate with Dementia Patients


  1. Use easy words
  2. Always listen
  3. Never, ever argue with patient
  4. Use easy sentences that aren’t too long
  5. Answer questions as well and simply as possible
  6. Use labels when you are able (your coffee cup or your slippers)
  7. Talking very calmly and clearly
  8. Use touch from time to time to reassure them
  9. Use proper body language
  10. Use visual aids and signs





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10 Ways to Deal with a Patient who has Dementia and Paranoia

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Dementia and Paranoia – A frustrating combination for patient and caregiver.

Dementia and ParanoiaDementia and paranoia is a source of great frustration and sadness for a loved one or caregiver. Dementia is a chronic disorder which is generally caused by an injury or brain disease associated with old age. Some of the most common signs are memory loss, confused thoughts, personality changes, hysteria.

Many (but not all) dementia patients become paranoid after a  period of time. Usually from the third or fourth stages of dementia on. They will begin to have delusions and very strong false beliefs. They may believe that a mate is being unfaithful or they’re being followed by the police. They might think that someone is stealing from them. These are all signs and symptoms of dementia and paranoia.

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Alcohol Related Dementia How does alcohol Cause Dementia

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Alcohol related dementia – its causes and how it affects people

Alcohol Related DementiaAlcohol related dementia is a medical condition which is sometimes referred to as Wernicke-Korsakoff’s Syndrome or Wet brain. It is caused by excessive drinking over a long period of time, which eventually leads to learning, cognitive and memory problems. The risks of developing alcohol related dementia are higher for people who abuse alcohol. Alcohol related dementia can set in really early, as early as age thirty but the most common ages is between age 65 and age 70.

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Delirium vs Dementia – What are the Differences

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Delirium vs Dementia – Are they the same?


Seven Dementia Stages - Delirium vs DementiaTo make a distinction between delirium vs dementia there are several factors to take into consideration. One of the first steps in diagnosing dementia is to rule out delirium. A few of the symptoms to look for in delirium are listed below.


• How fast did the person start to exhibit symptoms
• Any history of recent head trauma
• Signs of malnutrition
• Possible drug use or reaction to prescription drugs

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Activities for Dementia Patients to Keep Mind Active

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Activities for Dementia PatientActivities for Dementia Patients are very important for the overall health and well-being of an affected person. New ideas are always welcome by professional and family dementia caregivers alike. Activities for dementia patients along with proper exercise and mental vitamins will enhance mental function. Some medical experts claim that the effects of dementia can even be slowed down by using these three phases of dementia care-giving.

Mental Activities for Dementia Patients

Activities for dementia patients should consist of mental exercises that are challenging to the patient. This will push the boundaries of the brain and keep the cognitive juices flowing. Some good activities for dementia patients are listed below.
• A Challenging book involving a somewhat complicated plot. Not too complicated though,

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Early Onset Dementia Symptoms and Signs to Look For

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Dementia Stages- Early Onset Dementia SymptomsInitial Signs and Symptoms of Early Onset Dementia

What are the Early Onset Dementia Symptoms? Have you noticed something odd about a loved one lately? Are they finding it difficult to remember important names, dates, places, and events when you ask them about it?

Often people would think that forgetting these things is normal and it’s just part of “getting old”. But what many people may fail to realize is that this could be one of the early onset Dementia symptoms.


Early Onset Dementia Symptoms affect the cognitive function of the brain. Faculties such as judgment, memory, and concentration grow worse as the  Dementia Stages progress. Dementia is not merely a single disease but rather  a non-specific syndrome. That means that tan ailment is connected with several symptoms that point towards a particular disease or disorder.

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Dementia Statistics and Information You Should Know

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Dementia Stages - Dementia StatisticsAn Informative Look at Several Dementia Statistics

Dementia Statistics can come from many sources. As you research Dementia Statistics you will find that not all sources of information agree with each other. This is due in part to the fact that there is still a lot to learn about dementia as a syndrome. A person affected by dementia will show different signs and symptoms depending on the stage of dementia that a patient is in. The dementia stages are assessed by a medical professional using the Global Deterioration Scale or GDS. According to Dementia Statistics there are several types of dementia affecting the population today. It is a progressive condition which means that symptoms can get worse as time passes by. The progress of such symptoms will vary from one person to another and will be effected by the disease in different ways.

According to dementia statistics, the amount of people who dementia are growing in numbers. The Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) is an organization in England which is made up of several national Alzheimer’s organizations. They study not only Alzheimer’s, but the other forms of dementia as well. In 2011 they released a report with alarming dementia statistics showing that instances of Alzheimer’s and the other different types of dementia are becoming more and more frequent.

Click here for report:  World Alzheimer Report 2011 Executive Summary [1].pdf

Here are a few Dementia Statistics from the report:

  • As of 2010 35.6 million people have  Dementia worldwide.
  • By 2030 an estimated 65.7 million people will be suffering from Dementia.
  • 58% of people with Dementia live in developing countries.
  • China, Asia and southern Asia are the regions where instances of Dementia are increasing the fastest.
  • The total worldwide cost of the different types of dementia is 604 billion. (This includes costs for in home family care, community care and direct medical costs such as hospitals and Doctors.)
  • Only 20% to 50% of cases of dementia are found and assessed. In low and middle-income regions the percentage is worse. In India one study suggests that as many as 90% of cases of dementia go undiagnosed.

What is causing these increases?

There are many reasons and variables that can account for the increase in dementia statistics. To many to name here. But according to the World Alzheimer Report 2011 Executive Summary on reason is that people are living longer.

Demographic aging is a worldwide process that shows the successes of improved health care over the last century. Many are now living longer and healthier lives and so the world population has a greater proportion of older people. Dementia mainly affects older people, although there is a growing awareness of cases that start before the age of 65. By 2050, people aged 60 and over will account for 22% of the world’s population, with four-fifths living in Asia, Latin America or Africa….Alzheimer’s disease International.


With more people living past the age of 60 to 65 there is more chances for them to be effected by the Dementia Stages.


Related Posts      

Different Types of Dementia

Dementia Stages

The Global Deterioration Scale

Can I Prevent Dementia?

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