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What Dementia Causes Are Reversible?

By , 9:00 am on

People often think of dementia as an incurable disease that means a person will gradually lose more and more cognitive function. However, the reality is that not all types of dementia are irreversible. In fact, 12 percent of all dementia cases can be reversed. Seniors who have one of these types of dementia may regain memory function and thinking skills once the underlying cause is addressed.

Vitamin Deficiency

Dementia is a symptom that occurs with multiple types of vitamin deficiencies. Often, dementia is only present in very severe cases, such as the vitamin B deficiency an alcoholic can develop from years of alcohol abuse and a poor diet. B12 deficiency is the most common type of deficiency that causes dementia, but folate, iron, and vitamin D deficiencies can also result in dementia-like symptoms. Usually, helping a person return to normal levels of vitamin intake is enough to reverse the symptom. 

Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Sydney seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.

Thyroid Dysfunction

The thyroid is a gland that produces a hormone that helps with metabolism. Without enough thyroid hormone, people cannot get enough energy, which means they tend to feel foggy, confused, and impaired when they try to focus on things or think critically. Thyroid problems are common in seniors, and they also cause fatigue, weight gain, and thinning hair. Treating this type of dementia is often as simple as taking a thyroid hormone replacement.

Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH)

Roughly 6 percent of all seniors have at least a mild form of NPH, a condition that’s related to cerebrospinal fluid putting pressure on nerves and parts of the brain. It tends to impair both memory and executive function, but seniors lose these symptoms once the excess cerebrospinal fluid is removed.

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be challenging, but compassionate help is available. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care Sydney, NSW, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Reactions to Anticholinergic Medications

A certain category of medications called anticholinergics can have dementia as a side effect. Common types of anticholinergics include a variety of popular antidepressants and antipsychotics. A 2015 study from the JAMA Internal Medicine journal found that about 23 percent of seniors who took anticholinergics developed dementia. Most seniors who get this type of dementia can reverse the symptoms by stopping the anticholinergic dosages. However, about 2 percent of all seniors who take anticholinergics may end up with irreversible dementia.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a type of sleep disorder that repeatedly interrupts the quality of a person’s sleep. This chronic inability to have any restorative sleep can cause reduced hippocampal volume and general cognitive impairment. Seniors with sleep apnea may not even be aware they have the condition, but they may lack the ability to focus, have difficulty solving problems, and experience mood swings. Treating sleep apnea often involves using a CPAP machine that helps seniors breathe and avoid disruptions at night, and proper treatment can reverse the decrease in hippocampal volume. 

 A highly trained care worker with experience in caring for seniors with dementia can be a fantastic resource for family members. Families looking for top-rated Sydney senior care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialised Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. To hire a dedicated care worker, call Home Care Assistance at (02) 9158 3880 today.

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