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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Dementia: Prevention & Expectations
      Category : Health Centers > Mental Health (Mental Disorders)


Alternate Names : Senility

Dementia | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What can be done to prevent the condition?

Most cases of dementia are caused by Alzheimer disease. Although there are no proven methods to prevent Alzheimer's disease, recent research findings provide some options that may slow the onset of the disease or how fast symptoms progress. These findings, which need further study, include the following:

  • low doses of aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, called NSAIDs, which may work by making blood cells and vessels less sticky and by improving blood flow
  • actively engaging in cognitive activities such as reading, which may increase the nerve connections in the brain and delay the onset of the disease
  • taking antioxidants such as vitamin E and selignine. In the Alzheimer Disease Cooperative Study, a dose of 1,000 IU of vitamin E and 5 mg of selignine twice daily delayed nursing home placement, loss of the ability to perform self-care, and severe dementia.
  • hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women, which may delay the onset of symptoms of Alzheimer disease. The relationship between the hormone estrogen and Alzheimer disease needs further study.
  • avoiding head injuries. A person should wear a seat belt at all times when riding in a motor vehicle. Sports safety guidelines for children, adolescents, and adults can be helpful in avoiding other head injuries.
  • Strokes are another major cause of dementia. Preventing or treating high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and alcohol abuse can lower the risk of stroke.

    What are the long-term effects of the condition?

    Long-term progressive dementia results in the continued loss of mental abilities. In the end, the person is unable to care for him or herself. A person suffering from the condition often requires nursing home care. Falls, trauma, infections, and depression may also result in a need for more intense medical care.

    What are the risks to others?

    Dementia poses no risk to others, except for the disruption to home life and family relationships.

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    Dementia: Diagnosis & Tests


    Dementia: Treatment & Monitoring

    Author: Ann Reyes, Ph.D.
    Reviewer: Kathleen A. MacNaughton, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 10/10/02

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