Dementia

Definition

Dementia is a general term that describes a group of symptoms (memory loss, loss of motor control, loss of language, etc) due to the permanent damage or death of brain cells.  One of the most common causes of dementia is an ischemic stroke (when a blood vessel to the brain is blocked).  Other causes of dementia include alcohol and trauma.  Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia in people over the age of 65.

 

Prevention

Though there is no sure fire way of preventing dementia, lifestyle changes to limit the risk factors for stroke can limit the risk of developing dementia.

 

Vaccinations
  • The CDC recommends all adults get a seasonal flu vaccine every year.
  • A tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap or Td) booster is recommended every 10 years.
  • A shingles vaccine is recommended for those over 60 years old.
  • A pneumococcal vaccine is recommended for those 65 years and older.
  • Medicines and vaccinations must be monitored carefully in Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients to insure they are taking their medications on time and not doubling up.