Early detection can even help reverse dementia, say PGI doctors

If you have recurrent memory loss of the same functions that you perform everyday, besides disorientation of time and place, chances are that you may be suffering from dementia. However, doctors at the PGIMER say that early detection can even reverse the condition and dementia can be cured.

Says Dr Prabhakar, "There is no single test that can determine if someone has Alzheimer's disease, and the diagnosis requires a full physical and neurological examination to rule out other causes of dementia".

Says Dr Modi, in order to avoid suffering from dementia or memory loss, one should stay active physically and mentally in order to prevent occurrence of dementia.

Eating foods high in Vitamin E, walnuts, green leafy vegetables has recently been shown to have a protective effect against Alzheimer's disease. There is evidence that people who have lot of mental, physical, and social stimulation have lower rates of AD.

The number of people living with dementia worldwide is currently estimated at 35.6 million. This number will double by 2030 and more than triple by 2050. Many different conditions and diseases cause dementia.

Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a specific type of dementia. It is a progressive, degenerative disease that causes the slow decline of nerve cells in the brain. Individuals with Alzheimer's Disease experience progressive and irreversible loss in thinking abilities, including language and memory. Changes are also witnessed in mood, personality, sleep-wake cycles, and behaviour.

The average worldwide lifetime risk of developing any degenerative dementia is about 5 percent by age 65, 10 to 15 percent by age 75, and 20 to 40 percent by age 85. Individuals who have a parent with Alzheimer's disease have about twice the average risk of getting the disease, that is, among 65-year-olds with an affected parent, about 10 per cent will develop Alzheimer's disease, says Dr Modi.

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