One of the most devastating symptoms of disease related dementia is the distressing and debilitating condition of memory loss.
Memory is triggered via different segments of a person’s brain which are primarily used to manage the processes of thought and understanding.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most widespread and most known about disease that causes memory problems. Research suggests as many as 60% of all disease related dementias diagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease with approximately two-thirds of those being female.
The disease damages the brain in such a way that it impairs a person’s normal day-to-day function of memory capacity and retaining of thoughts which can then lead to confusion, forgetfulness and a lack of understanding and coherent functioning.
Most people who have dementia suffer short-term memory loss which over time often progresses in seriousness thus impacting on a person’s every day life and how they are able to generally function.
In the earlier stages of dementia, short-term loss of memory is likely to be milder and those who have the condition will need support. Early diagnosis is essential so the person can get the correct drugs to help with their memory problems.
Longer term memories will often be apparent for many people who have dementia and even though in later stages where short-term memory is perhaps non-existent. An individual may still be able to remember what happened in their school days, their wedding and husband or wife who they have lived with for many years.
When supporting those with later memory problems it is important to try to stimulate all the memories a person has in an enjoyable and highly personalised ways by using different therapies and methods. These could include activities such as art, music therapy, drama, craftwork and memory books or sometimes known as ‘life story books’.
Dementia and resulting loss of memory can affect any person from an assortment of backgrounds. The disease does not target those with lower or higher intelligence. For example, the famous author Terry Pratchett and the musician Glen Campbell are both suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Over the next decade, around one million people are forecast to experience dementia in the United Kingdom. There have been some genetically based issues that have been discovered that can make a person more likely to develop the brain debilitating disease. Various theories are also in existence around the possibilities of being able to slow the progress of dementia via appropriate brain and mental stimulation.
Avoiding future memory problems
With the onset of dementia a person’s memory will continue to deteriorate and worsen over the future resulting in loss of memory that has a major impact on ability to function normally. Researchers suggest there are a number of ways to try to avoid a more rapidly related memory weakening.
Regular reading of books with good amounts of intellectually based material and subject matter, playing games and puzzles, proper health benefiting sleep, regular daily exercise and relaxation methods.
Many researchers also believe that a well-balanced and nutritious dietary intake can also help slow or even help defend against disease such as Alzheimer’s by keeping the brain healthy and stopping future memory problems.
Eating a diet that contains a lot of oily fish and foods that are rich in omega 3 are recommended to be good for the brains defences against disease.
If you would like more information on some of the many organisations that can help if you or somebody you know suffer from some from of dementia have a look at our groups and organisations page on the navigation bar at the top where you will find many such groups that can help you.