Dementia - ‘Another truth of ageing’, types, causes and cures

Dementia, which is another form of mental aberration, is a syndrome for which age is one of the strongest known risk factors.  It is not a chronic disease or any kind of mental disorder but is simply a mental stage, affecting memory, decision-making capacity, thought process and understanding, emotional degradation and normal functioning in old age.

On the other hand, Dementia may also develop after a stroke or in the context of certain infections such as HIV(HIV associated neurocognitive disorder), harmful use of alcohol, repetitive physical injuries to the brain (known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy) or nutritional deficiencies. The boundaries between different forms of dementia are indistinct and mixed forms often co-exist.

According to a World Health Organization (WHO) recent report–‘Dementia is currently the seventh leading cause of deathamong all diseases. Worldwide, around 55 million people have dementia, with over 60% living in low- and middle-income countries. As the proportion of older people in the population is increasing in nearly every country, this number is expected to rise to 78 million in 2030 and 139 million in 2050.’

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