A set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease or a series of strokes.
Diagnosing dementia is often difficult, particularly in the early stages.
A Neurologist is the first person to consult. Assessment can include conversations with the person being diagnosed and those close to them, a physical examination, memory tests and/or brain scans. The Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) is the most commonly used test for complaints of memory problems or when a diagnosis of dementia is being considered.
Becoming forgetful does not necessarily mean that you have dementia. Many of us notice that our memory becomes less reliable as we get older. It can also be a symptom of stress or depression. In rare cases, dementia-like symptoms can be caused by vitamin deficiencies or a brain tumor. According to Neurologist – Dr Winnie Lim Khoo “Even if the diagnosis is dementia, there is lots that can be done after a diagnosis to support someone to live well with the condition”.