There is a deep routed and strong stigma that is attached to the dementia disease. Fear, guilt and embarrassment surround the word dementia but that is going to change.
DO KNOT FORGET is an educational campaign who primary focus is to empowering people with dementia and those who are affected by it.
We are here to educate, inform and clarify the publics view on dementia. This is not just an evolution, but a reinvention to the public’s view on dementia. Long gone are the quiet, discreet and hidden networks. We are a bold, extreme and in your face network that is raising awareness and changing the publics view on the disease.
This new, innovative and dynamic campaign for dementia is nothing like you have seen before. We are not just looking to bring forward those who have been affected by dementia but are targeting a wider audience to extend the social awareness surrounding the disease.
So we challenge each and everyone of you, to empower yourself with information. To learn, absorb and dispel the knowledge about dementia and in turn END THE STIGMA ON DEMENTIA.
Part of Do KNOT forget’s goal is to educate people about the dementia disease. However, the best way to learn about dementia is talk to a medical expert such as your family doctor. We provide you information about the disease so that you consult your doctor about your risks. We are not here to diagnose but to create a forum for you to actively engage in learning about dementia enducation.
Learn about the risks and the symptoms of dementia. Become more aware. You know yourself better than anyone else so take charge of your own care. Talk to your doctor if you are experience symptoms of dementia. Early detection and diagnosis is the key to obtaining support, help and treatment for the disease.
Courtesy of the University of British Columbia Memory Clinic
Alzheimer disease is one type of dementia, a gradual deterioration of brain functioning that affects:
- language, and
- other advanced cognitive processes.
Dementia has a number of causes. For instance, depression or an infection can cause dementia. In these cases, dementia can be “reversed” by treating these conditions. In other words, treatment of dementia will depend on treatment of the primary condition (depression or the infection).
Other forms of dementia, however, are not reversible because the primary condition is untreatable. Among these are:
- vascular dementia;
- dementia with Lewy bodies;
- frontotemporal dementia (such as Pick disease);
- dementia due to alcohol and drug abuse,
- Parkinson disease,
- Huntington disease,
- HIV/AIDS (in later stages), and
- head trauma.
Alzheimer disease is the most common type of dementia.
Alzheimer disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that impairs intellectual functions. Prominent among these is the impairment of memory. Individuals with Alzheimer disease may forget important events and lose objects, and have difficulty keeping track of time. Other than memory problems, they may also have:
- language problems,
- difficulties with recognising faces and objects,
- difficulty with geographic orientation,
- impaired motor functions, and
- problems with activities involving judgement, reasoning, and planning.
They may also experience mood and behavioural disturbances.
A definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer disease can only be made after an autopsy determines the presence of certain types of damage in the brain, although experienced physicians can accurately diagnose this condition in living patients most of the time (1).
Although findings from Alzheimer’s research seem to appear in the news almost daily, the cause for Alzheimer disease still remains a mystery. What we know is that the disease is characterised by two types of microscopic brain damage. The two types of damage that characterise Alzheimer disease are tangled strandlike filaments (neurofibrillary tangles) and clusters of dead neurons (amyloid plaques) in some areas of the brain, in particularly in the temporal lobe memory areas. There is also loss of brain cells and connections. These tangles and plaques are at a microscopic leve, and thus can not be seen on even advanced brain scans.
There seems to be a genetic basis for some forms of Alzheimer disease, and a family history of the disease increases the chance that other family members may become affected in the future. At present, chromosomes 1, 14, 19, and 21 have been implicated in different forms of Alzheimer disease (1). Effective diagnostic genetic testing is still under development, and is only useful in a very small number of cases. The biggest risk factor for Alzheimer disease is aging.
Ten warning signs of Dementia
- Memory loss
- Difficulty performing familiar tasks
- Problems with language
- Disorientation to time and place
- Poor or decreased judgment
- Problems with abstract thinking
- Misplacing things
- Changes in mood or behaviour
- Changes in personality
- Loss of initiative
Please note that we are unable to provide online medical advice. If you have any medical concerns, please see your family physician. Patients can only be referred to the clinic by their family physician or other medical specialists.
1. Pearl, GS. Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease in a community hospital-based brain bank program. South Med J. 1997 Jul;90(7):720-2.