Many illnesses affect the brain and some of them are considered to be the cause of dementia. This condition leads to inability to perform daily functions, memory loss, problems in communication, frustration, confusion, and changes in the personality and behavior. People suffering from dementia are also prone to and usually develop depression, aggression and wandering. Dementia mostly affects people over 65 and it is estimated that there are about 700,000 people suffering from dementia in the U.K. with a tendency to double in the next 30 years.
There are several types of dementia. Alzheimer's disease is a type of dementia with changes to the structure of the brain leading to death of nerve cells. there is also a chemical dis-balance present in this condition. Vascular dementia is a condition where there is not enough blood and oxygen reaching the brain so the cells begin to die off. Areas of the brain die off in a series of strokes which have happened because of other health problems like high blood pressure. Mixed dementia is the occurrence of several types of dementia a the same time. Dementia with Lewy bodies is caused by Lewy bodies which are a product of abnormal build-up of proteins in the brain. Dementia is also common in the later stages of other illnesses, like Parkinson's disease or AIDS.
Even though there is no real cure for dementia, there are some groups of medicines which treat the symptoms and control the condition. The available medicines slow down the progression of the condition in some people and there are medications approved for the general public. The main problem is that all of the present medicines treat the symptoms rather than the disease, and cannot therefore cure the patient. Apart from the medication therapy, there are also talking therapies available. Some people find group therapies helpful and effective as they stimulate the mind in group discussions and activities and another kind of therapy called reminiscence therapy where the participants discuss the past events using photographs and objects to work on their memory.
It is not yet determined whether these have any consistent effect and progress but the workshops are used alongside other therapies. Therapies such as aroma therapy could be said to decrease anxiety and agitation but that is only part of the problem. There are many help and support centers in the world, but that depends on the place of residence and is not consistently distributed. There are care taking organizations working to provide help and care to those who need it, and give advice to educate the public.