Many people suffer from memory disorders and fear a dementia disease. And although the number of dementia diseases is increasing in line with the rising average age of the population in Germany, of course not everyone who has the sense of forgetting things has dementia / Alzheimer's disease. Mental overload and stress, depression, vitamin deficiencies or other neurological/psychiatric diseases can also cause memory problems and concentration disorders. If memory problems are persistent or have suddenly appeared, if you are very worried or if other complaints are added, a neurological and, if necessary, neuropsychological examination is advisable.
In addition to a detailed history taking, a neurological examination takes place. If necessary, other tests are ordered (such as an MRI of the head, an examination of brain waves (electroencephalogram), laboratory tests, and a dementia test. Detailed neuropsychological testing can more accurately distinguish whether, how severe, and where problems are present. Sometimes a nerve fluid examination (lumbar puncture) is also helpful in making a final diagnosis. This is followed by a detailed discussion of the findings and diagnosis, as well as treatment options. If dementia is diagnosed, the administration of a so-called "anti-dementia drug," a medication that improves the quality of life and possibly slows the progression of dementia, is useful.
Since a real dementia today is unfortunately still not curable, it is especially important to know that prevention is the only way to reduce its risk of disease. It is now known that both classic Alzheimer's dementia and other forms of dementia are also related to the so-called cardiovascular risk factors (i.e. high blood pressure, diabetes, lack of exercise, smoking, sleep apnoea syndrome and elevated blood lipids).
Here you can do a lot: losing weight (if there is overweight), exercising, adjustment of elevated blood pressure, healthy diet. It will improve your chances of entering old age in a mentally fit state of mind. Here we can advise you and discuss lifestyle changes with you. In addition to a general fitness check-up (sports medical screening) and the creation of an adapted training plan, we can also check your risk factors: overnight blood pressure measurement and the so-called sleep apnoea screening, i.e. a check whether you suffer from phases of reduced oxygen supply at night due to snoring). If you suffer from obesity, additional nutritional counseling may be useful.
For patients with existing cognitive complaints (diagnosis: Mild cognitive impairment "Mild cognitive impairment" or mild dementia), we can offer regular combined programs where they receive a combination of neuropsychological therapy, nutritional counseling and sports program here.
A: There are different forms and causes of dementia: one form of dementia is the so-called Alzheimer's dementia, other forms are, for example, dementia due to arteriosclerosis (the so-called vascular dementia), dementia in other neurological diseases (e.g. Parkinson's disease or Huntington's disease) or the so-called frontotemporal dementia. However, there are often mixed forms of these different subtypes. Alzheimer's dementia is characterized by special deposits of small protein particles in the brain and death of nerve cells in certain brain regions. Symptoms may also vary somewhat between the different subtypes.
A: Most dementias are not hereditary. Only about 1% of Alzheimer's disease, for example, is hereditary. It usually does not occur at an older age, but between the ages of 30-60 year and progresses rather rapidly. Much more frequent, however, are dementias whose incidence increases with age and which are not hereditary. Meanwhile, it has been established that the influenceable risk factors (high blood pressure, obesity, hearing loss, diabetes, etc.) for the development of dementia play a much greater role than the hereditary predispositions.
A: Dementia can cause different symptoms: usually memory disorders/forgetfulness, orientation disorders and concentration disorders are in the foreground. However, language, behavior and psyche can also be affected. In the course of the disease, depression, apathy, aggression or even delusions can occur. Accordingly, the social behavior of the affected person often changes, there is a social withdrawal and altered behavior in coexistence with other people..