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To understand how to treat dementia it is important to understand what exactly is happening when symptoms related to dementia begin to develop. According to yourbrainmatters.org.au dementia is much more of a relative diagnosis than an exact one. Dementia is defined as being present when two or more cognitive functions are significantly impaired. Among these associated cognitive functions are memory, language skills, understanding of information, spatial skills, judgement, and attention.
In fact, the exact type of dementia that a person may experience is wholly dependent on what parts of the brain are affected. Other symptoms include personality changes, agitation, and delusions or hallucinations.
While the causes of dementia symptoms are widespread, and include diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, Lewy body disease, and more, the resulting damage to brain tissue is similar. In cases of dementia, nerve cells in the brain stop functioning. This causes them to lose connections with surrounding cells and then die.
Slowing the signs of dementia symptoms is a difficult task. Until cures are found for the diseases that bring on dementia, it is important to find any method of treatment that can show a positive impact.
Fortunately, the National Center for Biotechnology Information has reported on studies which show that adding physical activity as a non-medicinal treatment improves dementia patients’ quality of life.
When performing activities, the part of the brain that is responsible for that action triggers electrical impulses on those specific nerve centers. The more that these nerve centers are active the slower the rate of decline of the nerve cells and the less likely they are to disconnect with surrounding brain cells.
To combat specific symptoms, adding activities that force the brain to keep using the sections of the brain that show effects of the diseases. For example, if memory-loss is a major symptom, then memory based activities have the most effect. If the patient is developing fine-motor impairment, fine-motor activities are suggested.
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