Firstly, they will verify whether the patient is experiencing a loss of memory regarding both past events and recent occurrences. Next, they will assess cognitive functions. This involves testing the patient's ability to engage in logical reasoning and recognize certain things or individuals. Through a series of simple questions, the doctor will also assess their language skills for any signs of impairment. During the consultation, the doctor may also use one or more of the numerous tests available to evaluate the patient's condition. The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) is the most commonly used and typically takes about twenty minutes.
Examinations such as brain scans can be used to check for abnormalities in brain structure.
Patients may also be prescribed a computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to identify the underlying condition.
However, a definitive diagnosis of senile dementia can only be confirmed through a brain tissue biopsy.
Our Doctor's Opinion: Unfortunately, there is no cure for senile dementia. Nevertheless, there are various medications aimed at slowing down the progression of the disease:
There are drugs known as anticholinesterase inhibitors currently in use, but unfortunately, they yield unsatisfactory results (only 6% show positive results, indicating a slowdown in the progression of dementia). These drugs are designed to slow the degeneration of nerve cells.
In cases of secondary dementia resulting from multiple strokes, medications may be used to prevent the occurrence of new strokes.
In some cases, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may be used to combat the depressive symptoms that often accompany dementia.
Our Doctor's Recommendation: When senile dementia sets in, elderly individuals not only become entirely dependent but also challenging to manage due to the loss of their mental faculties. Mood swings and frequent aggressiveness often become part of the daily life of caregivers of these patients.
For these reasons, as well as safety and proper care considerations, I recommend placing elderly individuals with senile dementia in specialized nursing homes.
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