Mixed Dementia – A Most Troubling Brain Disorder
Article by Alex Jensen
There are many types of brain dementia to be worried about. From Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s, dementia is becoming a bigger problem for many.
A question that often comes up is what exactly is the worst brain disorder to get diagnosed with? Well, cancer is the worst, but what about with dementia? Is it Alzheimer’s? Parkinson’s? All are horrible, but the answer is quickly becoming a diagnosis of mixed dementia.
What is mixed dementia? It is a condition where Alzheimer’s and Vascular Dementia occur in tandem. Essentially, a person diagnosed with mixed dementia gets the worst of both problems. These problems tend to “team up” and cause more damage than they would independent. As much as 45 percent of all dementia sufferers may have mixed dementia even it they are diagnosed with only Alzheimer’s or Vascular Dementia.
So, just what are these two brain disorders? Alzheimer’s is the best known. It is a molecular breakdown of parts of the cells in the brain. A cell works like a machine. If one part doesn’t function, the machine doesn’t function. This is essentially what occurs with Alzheimer’s. When enough cells are impacted, the individual begins to have problems with movement, memory, smell and other associated brain activities.
Vascular dementia is an entirely different beast. There are many vascular health problems associated with the body, not just the brain. The general problem is something occurs that decreases or stops the flow of blood to an area. In the case of Vascular Dementia, this refers to sections of the brain. When blood flow slows or stops, the cells in the affected areas die and the patient suffers a host of dementia symptoms.
As you can probably imagine, the combination of Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia is unfortunately a powerful one. The double attack can lead a patient down a slippery slope with dementia symptoms in a relatively short period of time.
Is there any cure for mixed dementia? The sad answer is there is not. The medical field is still trying to get its hands around the individual disorders much less their combination. That being said, galantamine (Razadyne) and rivastigmine (Exelon) have been tested and shown to offer modest benefit specifically in mixed dementia.
As strange as it sounds, the medical research being conducted on dementia is a relatively new focus. Although Alzheimer’s was discovered in the early 20th century, it was never really considered a big medical issue until we started living longer lives. While relatively little has been done in regard to finding a cure, the silver lining is that research being conducted now may find major breakthroughs in treating dementia.
Alex Jensen is with OrangeCountyCarePlacement.com – a free orange county assisted living placement service for seniors.
Here a some other alzheimers and dementia websites that I found for you to browse. Thank you for visiting Treatment For Alzheimers
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