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Psychiatry for the elderly


The brain is one of the tissues that does not regenerate in general, with the exception of a very small specific area in the memory center of the brain. The brain controls everything we do, starting with decision-making, repeatedly with movement and speech, and ending with vital functions such as breathing, eating and drinking.

After a certain age, brain cell decay often occurs, meaning that the amount of cells that die in the brain is so great that the size of the brain as a whole begins to shrink and begins to get smaller.

In dementia, there is a decline in brain cells and a shrinkage in its size and this leads to a deterioration in all mental abilities, permanently. Usually, the first thing that is affected in brain functions is memory, then other functions deteriorate … concentration, orientation *, and personality changes occur, hallucinations and delusions may occur, then there is a deterioration in the ability to speak, then in eating and walking, then the end of breathing, then Death happens.

During the period in which a person suffers from dementia before death, a person may be subject to the following: theft, harassment, falls, traffic accidents of all kinds, fires, lack of attention to grooming, lack of good eating and drinking, failure to adhere to prescribed medications, and getting lost.

Because of poor memory and concentration and sometimes the presence of hallucinations and delusions, and because of the deterioration of the ability to judge, the patient may unintentionally commit crimes such as sexual harassment of children, exposing oneself in the street, setting fires, killing…

There are many types of dementia, there is what is called early dementia: which is a very small percentage of all cases of dementia, since in this case a person develops dementia while he is in his youth, that is, under the age of 65 years, and this is not our topic now.

As for the cases in which dementia occurs in old age, there are types, but the most prominent of them are the following:

Alzheimer’s dementia

Vascular dementia

Complex dementia

Parkinson’s dementia

Lewy body dementia

Alzheimer's dementia

It is one of the most common types of dementia, and it is generally related to age, genetics and neglect of sensory and physical stimulation in humans.

The more a person increases in age, especially over the age of 65 years, and the more there is a genetic factor in his genes that helps with Alzheimer’s dementia, and the more a person stays away from loved ones, sports and fun activities, the greater the possibility of a person suffering from Alzheimer’s dementia, which affects the first thing that affects memory while maintaining a person in general with his motor abilities.

It is noticed in dementia patients that the size of their brain decreases, as well as an accumulation of proteins such as:

Beta-amyloid plus tau protein.

It is noted that the neurotransmitter acetylcholine is significantly reduced in Alzheimer’s patients, so dementia medications focus on not breaking down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine quickly.

Medicines given to dementia patients generally do not cure it, but rather relieve its symptoms, and delay the gradual deterioration that the dementia patient will enter sooner or later.

A person can relatively delay developing dementia or protect himself from it if he has many hobbies, communicates with many people he loves and if he engages in regular physical activity.

Vascular dementia

If a person suffers several strokes, paralysis of the human organs may occur, but one of the most likely things that may happen is poor memory and concentration.

Vascular dementia is similar to Alzheimer’s dementia, except that vascular dementia can only be diagnosed by knowing that there is one or more blood clots that have affected the person, leading to symptoms of dementia.

One of the biggest things we can do to protect a vascular dementia patient is to protect him from a second stroke.

Complex dementia is when a person has both previous dementias.

Parkinson's dementia

If a person has a lack of dopamine, and not an increase, in certain areas of the brain, then tremor, ataxia, and difficulty in movement may all occur, and thus the neurologist may diagnose it as Parkinson’s.

Parkinson’s Disease

In fact, a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is a diagnosis made by a neurologist, but many Parkinson’s patients have poor memory, and hallucinate to the point that the cooperation of the neurologist with the psychiatrist becomes important.

What is observed in Parkinson’s dementia is that the alpha-synuclein protein undergoes abnormal changes, which shows the disease.

Lewy body dementia

It is a type of dementia similar to Parkinson’s dementia, but what is remarkable is that this type of dementia has symptoms of dementia and hallucinations usually clearly, and then after more than six months there are symptoms of movement disorders.

What is observed in Lewy body dementia is that the alpha-synuclein protein undergoes abnormal changes, which shows the disease, and it is common with Parkinson’s dementia in this matter.

Dementia in general costs countries huge amounts of money to maintain a decent life for centenarians.

Soon in a country like Britain there will be about a million people suffering from dementia.

There is a type of dementia that affects alcoholics and is not common in Islamic countries in general.

Dementia is a real challenge for humanity because the developed world is aging, meaning that the proportion of people at the age of 65 years is large in the societies of the developed world, due to the progress of medicine and the improvement of nutrition.

The dementia patient needs the necessary medications, the necessary nursing care, and the occupational therapy that helps the patient not to lose the skills he possesses to serve himself, and also, he needs home and family care, as well as those who serve him at home need help in his care.

The presence of a dementia patient in an elderly home that takes into account the health status of the inmates, is not always an idea that involves disobedience to the parents. On the contrary, it may be an idea of ​​honoring the father, because his presence with specialized nurses, a full medical staff to serve him and specialized occupational therapists, with regular visits to the parents, all of this For the benefit of the dementia patient.