Understanding Reversible Dementias
Your 75-year-old father has always
been healthy and active. But lately, he forgets names and dates. And he doesn’t act
like himself. You’re worried these may be signs of Alzheimer disease, a brain disorder.
these symptoms may not always be Alzheimer disease. If you’re concerned about a loved
talk with a healthcare provider They can help find the source of the problem.
What are reversible dementias?
Many factors can cause symptoms
that mimic Alzheimer disease. These symptoms are known as reversible dementias. Unlike
Alzheimer disease, they can be cured with proper treatment. Some factors that may
to reversible dementias include:
Depression. People who are
depressed feel intense sadness. As a result, they may seem tired, listless, and
Medicines. Older adults often
take a number of medicines. Sometimes these medicines stay in the body too long.
Or they may interact with each other. This may cause some people to become
confused and forgetful.
Poor eating habits. Often,
older adults may not feel like eating. It may also be hard for them to chew or
digest food. This can lead to poor nutrition, lack of key vitamins such as B-12
and folate, or to low blood sugar. These issues can affect the brain.
Heart or lung disease. These
problems can prevent the brain from getting enough oxygen.
Diseases of the thyroid,
parathyroid, or other glands.
Many glands and hormones affect the way
people think and feel. Sometimes they don’t function as they should. This may
cause changes in thought or mood.
Infections. Syphilis and Lyme
disease have been known to cause dementia.
Illegal drug use.
How you can help
Don’t ignore mental changes in a
parent or other loved ones. Sometimes these changes can be reversed once the cause
found. A healthcare provider can help.