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Is dementia a diagnosis or a syndrome

Discussion in 'Researchers, students and professionals' started by larzst, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,497
    Female
    Near Southampton
    6 weeks? We had nothing.
    Up until now, I wasn't aware that this reablement exisited.
    Is it the same sort of thing that someone with a broken leg has when they leave hospital?

    My husband was diagnosed by a consultant psychiatrist who came to the house after referral from our GP.
    Referred to Memory clinic for Aricept, just in case Alzheimer's disease might have been present alongside his Vascular dementia.
    Memory clinic ran a 10 week voluntary course on dementia which we attended and that was the end of that!
    Saw no CPN nor anybody else.
    Certainly no mention of reablement.

    I thought that dementia was the symptom of a number of diseases with different causes rather than a syndrome which is a spectrum of differing effects.
     
  2. Jancis

    Jancis Registered User

    Jun 30, 2010
    2,567
    Hampshire
    I think this is a very interesting post from Larzst

    According to the World Health Organisation, dementia is a syndrome which is caused by a variety of diseases and injuries that primarily or secondarily affect the brain.

    It is often quoted that dementia is an umbrella term that describes symptoms that occur when the brain is affected by certain diseases or conditions of a disease and therefore I think dementia should NOT be classified as a diagnosis. But it is being classified all the time (in the media) by people who say 'Dementia is a disease of the brain'. According to the researchers there are over 100 different types of dementia; some of the causes may lead rapidly to suffering and death while others will allow the person to function well and adapt to living with their condition for a decade or more. Other causes may not be progressively degenerative and the condition may be halted (e.g. cases of Korsakoff's syndome). I think it is important that we raise awareness about ALL types of conditions that can cause dementia. Is it not the case that dementia is referred to by some medics as a diagnosis only because it has not been possible to accurately determine the underlying cause whether it be Alzheimer’s or Lewy body or FTD (and the many others) and more complex mixed types? Fact is, little is known about the brain and how to prevent or treat conditions that cause dementia and this fact often causes much confusion and distress by those affected by it.
     
  3. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    8,041
    #43 Sue J, Feb 16, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
    Good to see you posting Jancis:)

    I agree with all you say as I still try and get medics to understand and investigate the cause of my dementia symptoms rather than write me off as a lost cause.

    Hope you're OK?xx

    You have also helped me to understand the OP's question better, which from my earlier posts I had misunderstood. If dementia is NOT classified as a diagnosis medics would then have to pursue further investigations to identify the cause of the dementia symptoms, this I totally agree with. Struggling with symptoms without adequate support can make you believe that 'dementia' is a hopeless cause but I have never believed in hopelessness and thank you for reminding me of that, I have never, either, believed I have dementia but some undiagnosed disease causing dementia symptoms. A diagnosis of dementia can therefore be very misleading, at best, dementia of unknown aetiology.
     
  4. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,657
    North West
    Jancis, thank you for an informative summary which probably goes closer to answering the OP's question than any of the other responses.

    It has also occurred to me that the OP posted in this particular forum because she expected, not unnaturally, to get authoritative responses primarily from 'Researchers, students and professionals'.
     
  5. sistermillicent

    sistermillicent Registered User

    Jan 30, 2009
    2,951
    I also think it is quite valid to question whether dementia should be classified as a syndrome. I don't know enough about it to have an opinion and I am unlikely to ever know because I am more interested just now in getting through the awfulness, but I am so very pleased that someone like the original poster is looking into it.

    This is the right place to post this topic and long may people be encouraged to use this site for research and new ideas. Who cares if some of them are way off, at least they are bothering.
     
  6. larzst

    larzst Registered User

    Feb 16, 2015
    13
    Thank you so much

     
  7. larzst

    larzst Registered User

    Feb 16, 2015
    13
    Thank you

     
  8. larzst

    larzst Registered User

    Feb 16, 2015
    13
    Thank you so much

     
  9. larzst

    larzst Registered User

    Feb 16, 2015
    13
    Thank you all very much for particapting in this debate. I really think that it is important for professionals and researchers to understand the carer or person with dementia's point of view. My intentions were not to disregard the challenges faced but, to gain a perspective for my question. Best wishes to you all
     

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