Disorientation and language alteration: main symptoms of dementia in the elderly

The Medical, Quality and Innovation director of Sanitas Mayores, David Curto, points out that cognitive aspects such as disorientation, memory alteration, attention deficit, language alteration, apraxia…

The Medical Director, Quality and Innovation of Sanitas Mayores, David Shortpoints out that cognitive aspects such as disorientation, memory alteration, attention deficit, language alteration, apraxia or agnosia are the first symptoms of dementia in older people.

Another symptom is temporal, spatial and people disorientation; attention deficit and loss of social skills; alteration of short and long-term memory and difficulty in carrying out memorization activities.

So are language disturbance and communication problems; as well as behavioral alterations, which may be due to dementia itself or due to causes linked to pain or the effect of some drugs.

Apraxia or inability to perform intentional and learned motor tasks despite the physical ability and willingness to do so is also a symptom of dementia; as well as agnosia (inability to recognize stimuli already learned).

As Curto recalls, dementia is a chronic or progressive disease characterized by impaired cognitive function, affecting memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculation, learning ability, language and judgment.

Although it commonly affects the elderly, it can occur in people of any age group. Although this is one of the main risk factors, there are also others, such as family history or lack of brain exercise.

Memory loss is common with age, but this does not mean that aging is linked to dementia. In order to be considered as such, at least two problems must be manifested in neuronal functions, such as memory loss and language difficulty.Curt explains.

Likewise, dementia is a syndrome that usually appears and develops slowly, going through different phases. “In the initial phase there is mild cognitive impairment. Short-term memory deteriorates, learning ability becomes impaired, and the first difficulties with language begin“, remember.

In the intermediate phase, cognitive impairment is moderate. Long-term memory begins to fail, although they have not completely lost it, they are no longer able to learn or remember new information, and difficulties appear in maintaining their knowledge of space.

Finally, the Medical, Quality and Innovation director of Sanitas Mayores points out that, in the most advanced phase, “cognitive impairment is irreversible“.

Patients lose short-term and long-term memory. In this phase, where the person becomes totally dependent, it is necessary that they be assisted by specialized personnel, in adapted centers if possible“, Add.

There is no infallible remedy to prevent dementia, but there are measures to adopt that can be very useful“, according to Curto.

Performing mental agility activities and having an active social life are two factors that can be very important to ensure a dignified ageing. It is also important to control blood pressure and cholesterol, and it is recommended to follow a healthy diet with sufficient amounts of vitamin D, as well as to avoid tobacco as much as possible“, it ends.


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