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Dementia affects your memory and diminishes your ability to think, communicate, and perform daily tasks. If you or a loved one has signs of dementia, the team at Dayton Center for Neurological Disorders (DCND) runs cognitive testing, diagnoses the cause of your symptoms, and begins treatment that prolongs your quality of life. To get exceptional dementia care at the office in Centerville, Beavercreek, Eaton, or Huber Heights, Ohio, the first step is to obtain a referral from your primary care physician. Then, the DCND team will reach out to you to schedule an appointment. 

Dementia Q & A

What is dementia?

Dementia is the loss of memory and cognitive function that’s severe enough to disrupt your daily life. Most adults experience some memory loss as they get older, but that’s not the same as dementia because it doesn’t affect your ability to deal with everyday tasks.

Are there different types of dementia?

There are numerous types of dementia, including:

Progressive dementias

There are four primary dementias that cause progressive brain damage:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Lewy body dementia
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Vascular dementia

The first three conditions develop when proteins build up and damage nerves in the brain. As more protein accumulates, a progressively larger area is destroyed, and your dementia symptoms worsen. Vascular dementia damages the brain when clogged arteries stop blood flow.

Neurological conditions

Several neurological conditions cause dementia. A few examples include:

  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE (caused by repeated traumatic brain injuries)
  • Huntington’s disease (an inherited progressive brain disease)
  • HIV-associated dementia (brain cells are damaged by the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV)
  • Secondary dementias (brain damage is caused by neurological conditions like brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, and encephalitis)

Anti-HIV drugs may delay or prevent HIV-associated dementia. Otherwise, these dementias aren’t curable.

What symptoms does dementia cause?

Dementia causes many symptoms, including:

  • Losing your memory 
  • Difficulty communicating
  • Trouble concentrating, planning, and organizing
  • Struggling with directions
  • Repeating comments or questions
  • Getting lost in familiar places
  • Being confused about time or place
  • Frequently misplacing items
  • Developing personality, mood, and behavioral problems
  • Not being able to perform everyday tasks
  • Having problems with balance and movement
  • Developing changes in the way you walk

The earliest signs you experience depend on the brain area that’s damaged when dementia begins. Alzheimer’s disease, the most common dementia, begins with memory loss.

How is dementia treated?

Your Dayton Center for Neurological Disorders provider first determines if you have an underlying neurological condition or a primary progressive dementia.

They provide the appropriate treatment for an underlying neurological condition. They also prescribe medications when appropriate to improve cognitive function and slow down memory loss. People with early-stage Alzheimer’s may be good candidates for new medications. Ask your provider about them at your next appointment.

If you’re worried about memory loss or other symptoms, ask your primary care physician to refer you to Dayton Center for Neurological Disorders. Then the office will reach out to you to schedule an evaluation.