One thing that is interesting about dementia is that it isn’t brought on by a single cause. You can have dementia linked to Alzheimer’s disease, or you can have other forms. A singular diagnosis of “dementia” doesn’t really tell you anything about the cause of the illness.
Dementias are usually brought on by damage or disruptions in the brain. Some damage may be permanent, but other kinds aren’t. That means that not all dementias are permanent.
This is something to keep in mind if your loved one is showing signs of dementia because an incorrect diagnosis or lack of treatment could mean that they stay ill when there is a way to help reverse their condition.
Which kinds of dementias are reversible?
The dementias that are reversible are usually linked to illnesses or injuries that don’t cause permanent damage in the brain. Infections, fevers, normal pressure hydrocephalus, Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome and B12 deficiency-related dementias are all reversible with the correct treatments. Some other issues, like thyroid disease, subdural hematomas and tumors may also be treatable. Even toxic reactions to chemicals, foods or drugs can sometimes be reversed, giving your loved one back a clear mind over time.
Irreversible dementia shouldn’t be the automatic assumption
Even if your loved one is older, it’s unfair to assume that their dementia is automatically irreversible. While some irreversible forms, like Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, Lewy-Body dementia, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease are common among older individuals, infections and illnesses may also bring on symptoms.
What do you need to do if your loved one shows signs of dementia?
If your loved one is showing signs of dementia that they did not have in the past, it’s important for them to receive the appropriate medical care and diagnostic services. If they were in a nursing home and fell, suffered an infection or had other issues as a result of poor nutrition, then it is essential to see if the sudden dementia onset is related to that poor care. If so, then you may have a case against the nursing home and be able to take steps to help your loved one recover from a reversible condition.