The very word dementia strikes fear in the hearts of men and women everywhere.  Why?  Dementia is a growing phenomenon.  It can occur at any time in a person’s life.  It is not just a condition of aging and it does not discriminate. It knows no boundaries! Not everyone will develop dementia with age.  The causes of dementia are as diverse at the kaleidoscope of symptoms it can represent.

Many people hold an archaic belief that they can “catch it”. They will  go out of their way to avoid anyone or anything that ” might cause them to catch dementia.”    Dementia is often linked to other fearful concepts like being feeble, mindless, old and senile, and to dying. Some people only associate dementia with Alzheimer’s disease.  The reality is that dementia can be created by a variety of medical conditions, not just Alzheimer’s.

Let’s begin with a brief overview of dementia.  Dementia is a generic term for a constellation of symptoms that are associated with a variety of disorders.  Dementia is frequently associated with several age-related illnesses like Alzheimer’s, Lewy body disease, vascular dementia (strokes), Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, fronto-templar dementia, or Pick’s diseases.  Dementia can also be created by traumatically induced brain injuries.  For that matter, any event that causes repeated blows to the head or a shaking of the brain inside the skull can over time produce a form of dementia.

In an effort to educate my reader’s about dementia and what disorders can produce it, over the next months I will be providing an article on each of the common disorders and/or conditions listed below:

As always, I advocate creating and maintaining connections to individuals with dementia. It is important!  It is something that must be learned, it is not hard, but does require patience.  Once learned these behaviors will become second nature.  Once you begin to understand the underlying causes of the dementia process, you must willing to learn how to establish connections.