Understand The Process And Experience Of Dementia - QCF Level 5 - Level 5 QCF

5790 words - 24 pages

533 - Understand the process and experience of dementia
1.1 Describe a range of causes of dementia syndrome.
The term 'dementia' is used to describe the symptoms that occur when the brain is affected by specific diseases and conditions. There are over 100 different types of dementia. Some of the more common causes are outlined below.
· Alzheimer's disease
This is the most common cause of dementia. During the course of the disease, the chemistry and structure of the brain changes, leading to the death of brain cells.
· Vascular dementia
If the oxygen supply to the brain fails, brain cells may die. The symptoms of vascular dementia can occur either suddenly, following a stroke, or over time, through a series of small strokes.
· Dementia with Lewy bodies
This form of dementia gets its name from tiny spherical structures that develop inside nerve cells. Their presence in the brain leads to the degeneration of brain tissue.
· Fronto-temporal dementia
In fronto-temporal dementia, damage is usually focused in the front part of the brain. Personality and behaviour are initially more affected than memory.
· Korsakoff's syndrome
This is a brain disorder that is usually associated with heavy drinking over a long period. Although it is not strictly speaking a dementia, people with the condition experience loss of short term memory.
· Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is when prions which are infectious agents that attack the central nervous system and then invade the brain, causing dementia.
· Aids-related cognitive impairment people with Aids sometimes develop cognitive impairment, particularly in the later stages of their illness
1.2 Describe the types of memory impairment commonly experienced by individuals with dementia.
People in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease may experience lapses of memory and have problems finding the right words. As the disease progresses, they may:
· Become confused, and frequently forget the names of people, places, appointments and recent events
· Experience mood swings. They may feel sad or angry. They may feel scared and frustrated by their increasing memory loss
· Become more withdrawn, due either to a loss of confidence or to communication problems
The symptoms of vascular dementia can develop suddenly and quickly worsen. Or they can develop gradually over many months.
Symptoms include:
• Increasing difficulties with tasks and activities that require concentration and planning,
• Memory loss,
• Depression,
• Changes in personality and mood,
• Periods of mental confusion,
• Low attention span,
• Urinary incontinence,
• Stroke-like symptoms, such as muscle weakness or paralysis on one side of the body,
• wandering during the night, and
• Slow and unsteady gait (the way that they walk).
The symptoms of dementia with Lewy bodies usually develop gradually but get more severe over the course of many years.
The symptoms of dementia with Lewy bodies include:
• Memory loss,
• Low attention span,
• Periods of mental confusion...

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