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Reversible Causes of Dementia in Seniors

By Jeff Hill, 9:00 am on May 8, 2015

The most common cause of dementia in older adults is Alzheimer’s disease, which is not treatable and cannot be reversed. However, certain other conditions elicit symptoms of dementia that can resolve after the root cause has been treated. If you provide Phoenix senior home care for a loved one who has been experiencing memory problems but has not been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, one of the following diseases may be the cause.

1. Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH)

With this condition, a gradual buildup of spinal fluid in the brain leads to issues with cognition and, most noticeably, gait problems. If your senior loved one is experiencing these symptoms, see a neurologist who can diagnose this condition with imaging tests. It’s usually treatable with a shunt.

2. Korsakoff Syndrome

This type of dementia is caused by a deficiency in the nutrient thiamine, typically associated with alcohol abuse, AIDS, eating disorders, kidney disease, or late stage cancer. While research into Korsakoff Syndrome is limited, experts think about a quarter of people with this type of dementia regain normal function, with another 50 percent showing some improvement.

3. Medication Interactions

Seniors are often prescribed several drugs to treat a variety of conditions, sometimes from multiple physicians who may not be aware of other medications your loved one is taking. If this describes your loved one, make an appointment for a medical review with his or her physician. The dementia he or she is experiencing may be reversed if it’s caused by a prescription or medication interactions.

4. Reversible Cognitive Dementia

This type of memory loss is actually a symptom of pervasive clinical depression. In some older adults, depression can manifest not only as sadness, but also as confusion and forgetfulness. If you think this may apply to your loved one, his or her doctor can recommend a course of treatment. This typically includes both medication and psychotherapy.

While many types of dementia are progressive, certain causes of memory loss are reversible with the right medical attention. It’s also possible to stave off cognitive decline by living a healthy lifestyle and engaging the brain in stimulating activities. At Home Care Assistance, every caregiver is trained in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method, an individualized wellness program that promotes mental acuity and helps slow cognitive decline.

For more information about our Cognitive Therapeutics Method or to learn more about care and support for a senior loved one with memory loss, reach out to a friendly Care Manager today. We offer premier dementia home care in Phoenix from trained and compassionate caregivers. Give us a call at 602.388.1085 to schedule a free in-home consultation.