Symptoms and causes

Symptoms and causes

What is dementia?

Dementia is an umbrella term for conditions that cause progressive deterioration of memory and other brain functions (speech, attention, behavior, personality, etc.). This disease primarily affects older persons. If the disease presents in persons younger than 65 years old, we refer to it as early-onset dementia.

Causes

The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Other possible causes are, for example: frontal-temporal dementia, vascular dementia and Lewy body dementia.

Diagnosis and treatment

Diagnosis and treatment

Diagnosis

If a patient or someone who knows the patients suspects that the patient has dementia, the neurologist tries to find out if there actually is dementia present. This is achieved by talking with the patient and the patient's loved ones, as well as with a clinical exam and one or more memory tests. In many cases, additional tests are done after diagnosis in order to determine the specific causes for the dementia.

Treatment

Although most forms of dementia are not curable, it is important to detect the disease in time. In some cases, medication can be started in order to improve symptoms. The patient and his/her caregivers can also contact the Maria Middelares General Hospital for education and support. In this way, we try to make life more tolerable for the patient and for the patient's caregivers.

Advice for dementia

Advice for dementia

When a diagnosis of dementia is made, it can impact the life of the person with dementia in various ways, as well as the life of his or her loved ones. Would you like more information about our educational support? Click on the button below for more information.

Interesting link:

  • www.dementie.be: website for the Flanders Dementia Expertise Centre, with general information about dementia, research, trainings, etc.
  • www.omgaanmetdementie.be: very practical tips for caregivers and aides about how to work with dementia.
  • www.alzheimerliga.be: general information, research, conversation cafés and family groups organised by region.
  • www.onthoumens.be: social support for dementia, initiative and tips for municipalities and organisations, communication tips, etc.

Treatment centres and specialisations

Treatment centres and specialisations
Geriatrics
Neurology

Latest publication date: 23/08/2022
Supervising author: Dr Desimpelaere Patrick, Dr Aers Isabelle