Sunday, April 30, 2017

Causes Of Dementia

Definition: Dementia may be defined as acquired deterioration in brain’s neuronal function that is characterized by impaired performance of daily living activities including disturbances of memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, learning and judgement. Memory is the most common cognitive ability lost with dementia.

Causes: Dementia has many causes and it is important to identify and exclude the treatable causes.

A list of different causes of dementia is given in a simplified way as follows:

Most Common Causes To Be Listed First
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Vascular Dementia
  • Alcoholism
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Drug/Medication intoxication
Causes Listed According To Different Etiologies

1. Degenerative
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Pick’s disease
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Normal pressure Hydrocephalus
2. Vascular
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Cranial arteritis
  • Multi infarct dementia
  • Cardiac arrest
3. Traumatic
  • Post head injury
  • Punch drunk syndrome ( seen in Boxers )
4. Intracranial Space Occupying Lesions
  • Subdural hematoma
  • Tumors (primary or metastatic brain tumors )
5. Metabolic Causes
  • Uremia
  • Liver failure
6. Infections
  • Encephalitis of any cause
  • Creutzfeld-jacob disease (Prion Disease)
  • HIV infection
  • Neurosyphilis
  • Tuberculosis, fungal or protozoal infection of the brain.
7. Toxic Disorders
  • Alcohol
  • Occupational exposure of certain chemicals.
  • Heavy metal intoxication (e.g Lead )
  • Organic toxins.
8. Endocrine Disorders
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hypo – Hyperparathyroidism
  • Adrenal insufficiency and Cushing syndrome.
9. Psychiatric Disorders
  • Depressions causes pseudodementia
  • Schizophrenia
  • Conversion reactions.

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