The first step in diagnosing dementia is to determine the cause. While a number of factors may contribute to the condition, one of the most important is the presence of brain damage. This brain damage is what makes the symptoms of dementia so difficult to spot on a single visit. For example, a patient with memory loss may be more likely to forget certain details than they would have in normal aging. A patient with dementia may be less able to drive or manage finances.
Another factor in the development of dementia is hormonal imbalance. The effects of hormonal changes on the brain may be associated with various symptoms of dementia. Other causes of this condition include a malfunctioning parathyroid gland or thyroid, and infections of the body. Diagnosis is crucial for proper treatment. Once the diagnosis is made, treatment begins. While no cure exists for dementia, there are several treatments and strategies that can be used to help a person with this disorder.
Whether or not a person develops dementia is a complex issue. The early signs of dementia can indicate other issues. In fact, confusion may be a symptom of a medical condition such as heart disease or lung disease, or a condition that blocks oxygen to the brain. In any case, a doctor will recommend appropriate tests and treatments. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, the patient can move on to a more advanced stage of treatment.