Dementia Specialist

Alpha Family Medicine Inc.

Primary Care & Geriatric Care Specialists located in Alpharetta, GA

Dementia is a set of symptoms typified by confusion, loss of memory, and drastic behavioral changes that can gradually appear out of nowhere. Dementia can be treated, and there are some forms that can even be reversed, but the average person with dementia will have it for the rest of their life. If you live in the area of Alpharetta, Georgia, and would like more information on how you or a loved one can live more comfortably with dementia, call Alpha Family Medicine Inc., today, or make an appointment online.

Dementia Q & A

What is dementia?

Dementia isn’t really a disease, but a way of describing a set of symptoms that can cause changes in your thinking, memory, and social skills. Dementia usually involves memory loss, but memory loss can have numerous causes, so memory loss does not always indicate dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease causes most people’s dementia, but there are other causes as well, some of which can be reversible.

How can I recognize the early signs of dementia?

The early signs of dementia usually occur gradually and can be difficult to spot. They include:

  • Memory loss, usually noticed by someone else like a spouse
  • Difficulty finding the right words when speaking
  • Difficulty solving problems or reasoning
  • Difficulty with complex or multi-step tasks
  • Difficulty planning and keeping a schedule
  • Poor coordination or motor functions
  • Personality changes
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Inappropriate social behavior
  • Paranoia and agitation

People with dementia may hallucinate or confuse people for others, but this more often occurs once it has become fairly advanced. You won’t be able to diagnose dementia on your own, so if you suspect you or a loved one may have it, you’ll need to consult a doctor.

How can I prevent dementia?

There’s no sure way to prevent dementia, as it can affect almost anyone as they age. However, there are ways to reduce your risk of the condition or even slow its effects, including:

  • Keep your mind active with puzzles, books, and word games.
  • Stay physically active, and keep an active social life.
  • If you smoke, quit.
  • Get your daily recommended value of vitamin D.
  • Keep your blood pressure within a healthy range.
  • Maintain a healthy diet, rich in whole grains and fatty acids.

It is common for people with dementia to refuse help or to deny the condition exists. They can also become agitated or frustrated more easily, so if you’re helping a loved one remember these lifestyle changes to slow the progress of dementia, make sure you are aware of these behavioral changes, and remember to be compassionate and patient with them.

How is dementia diagnosed and treated?

If you visit the office and believe you may have dementia, you’ll just need to take a quick series of tests to determine whether you do or not. In addition to testing your cognitive functions, your doctor may want to take a brain scan. Safe and painless, this scan tracks how your brain transmits information.

If you do show signs of dementia, your doctor will likely recommend a combination of medication and therapies like occupational therapy to slow the progression of the condition. Combined with small lifestyle changes, this is currently the most effective way available to manage dementia.

For more information on dementia diagnosis and treatment for you or a loved one, call the office today, or make an appointment online.