Dementia and Brain Cells

*Information provided for educational purposes only*

*Not Medical Advice*

What is Dementia?

Dementia is not a single disease. Instead, it is a general term that covers a wide range of specific conditions. Memory loss and disjointed thinking are common symptoms of this disease.

So what area of the brain is most affected by dementia patients?

To answer this question, we must first explore how areas of the brain communicate.

Communication between brain cells

Brain cells need to be able to communicate with each other to carry out their functions properly. They communicate with each other via neurotransmitters. However, when brain cells are damaged, they cannot communicate with each other properly. The signals that enable communication between cells are lost which causes significant problems for patients. Researchers believe that damaged brain cells in certain regions of the brain are the main culprit in dementia patients.

Likewise, most of the time these patients with dementia have brain damage in the hippocampus area. The hippocampus is commonly believed to be responsible for memory and thinking. Damage in this area would explain why dementia patients experience problems in multiple areas of their life such as thinking, organizing thoughts, or memory. As explained earlier, brain cells must communicate properly in order to perform their functions properly. Thus, damage brain cells in the hippocampus region of the brain it is believed will eventually cause some degree of dementia. Luckily, most of the time things can be done to manage or possibly improve symptoms of dementia.

Actions to take...

If you think someone you love may have dementia it is vitally important for them to see a doctor as early as possible. Some of the symptoms of dementia can be improved if caught early enough. There is no one test that determines a person has dementia. Instead, doctors evaluate multiple areas. They may perform a physical exam, run lab tests, or examine the patient’s day-to-day function. In addition to those tests, doctors will consider a patient’s medical history too for an even more accurate diagnosis.

James Pino


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