Dementia is not a specific disease; rather it refers to a series of various symptoms, which take place from damages in human brain and it typically results in memory loss. Alzheimer’s disease, known as its common form, dementia combined with Lewy bodies, vascular dementia, advanced dementia and frontotemporal dementia are all of the different types of dementia problem.
Plagues and Tangles to Cause Dementia
Doctors believe that tangles and plagues are two abnormal structures, which mainly cause damage to the nerve cells present in the human brain. Plaques refer to deposits of a protein fragment named beta-amyloid that causes formation of spaces in between different nerve cells. On the other side, tangles constitute twisted fibers of another type of protein named tau that forms within the cells. Thus, with the passage of time, the patients suffering from dementia problem suffer relatively higher damages in their brain and fail to work in a proper or in a regular way, as before.
Can a Patient Die from Dementia?
Dementia is one of the terminal conditions. However, in most of the cases, complications arising from the problem leads to shortening of a person’s life. In order to know about dementia and its effects in detail, you should have a look on the following facts.
Health Conditions and Dementia
Patients may have both chronic and progressive conditions because of dementia problems. These include vascular dementia, Alzheimer problem and dementia with Lewy bodies. This indicates that conditions of any patient become worse steadily.
However, the rate, at which this situation takes place and related effects on the patient’s life expectancy depend on different factors. These are exact type of dementia suffered by any person, exact cause of the problem, overall health and an individual’s lifestyle.
Why Dementia is Terminal?
Patients should essentially keep in their minds that dementias, including the Alzheimer’s problem do not only causes loss of memory, instead, they cause damage of our brain.
Human brain, as we all know that performs every activity for us, such as controlling our heart rate and lungs, overall metabolism, gastrointestinal tract, along with storage of memories and important facts. This means, with consistent decline of your cognitive functions, ability of your body to stay healthy losses.
Dementia thus eventually causes negative effect in the brain and that too in such an extent that it fails to gain control of other body areas and start with shut down. Hence, it is very much essential to keep in mind that the problem is of gradual one requires many years to progress, but still it is one of terminal conditions.
How Does Dementia Kill You?
In most of the cases, complications taking place because of dementia may result in shortening of the patients’ life span. Research study in this case has specially identified the following common causes for deaths in dementia patients.
Breathing Problems: Approximately, 45 percent of the patients die because of respiratory or breathing problems, including aspiration pneumonia and bronchopneumonia.
Stroke: 37 to 38 percent individuals have until now suffered death because of stroke, cardiac problems and diseases related to circulatory system.
Other Causes: Excluding this, about 6.5% patients of dementia have suffered from other prime causes. These include infection, traumatic failure, muscle or body wastage, specific infections and similar others.
Digestive Diseases: 4 to 5 percent individuals suffer death because of diseases related to stomach and digestive systems, while about 2 to 3 percent individuals because of genitourinary system problems.
Tumors: Other than this, approximately 3 to 4 percent individuals die because of various cancer and tumor problems.
Once any patient is progressing towards his journey of dementia, patient and the family members should give priority towards making them comfortable and as easy as possible. Moreover, the patients and family members should discuss with doctors to treat a few common problems at the initial stage itself. These are antibiotics to deal with infections, drips/saline to avoid dehydration problem, special foods to deal with malnutrition and CPR i.e. cardio-pulmonary resuscitation post heart attack.