Dementia
Pugilistica, HAD, HD

Dementia pugilistica

As the name suggests, dementia pugilistica is generally attributable to head shocks similar to what is endured by people who sustained several blows several times in the head while engaging in the sport of boxing. This type of nervous disorder is also known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (brain ailment) or the Boxer's syndrome. The most widespread signs of this condition include dementia as well as Parkinson's disease. It is important to note that this traumatic condition may even emerge several years after the pain ends. People inflicted by dementia pugilistica are also likely to suffer from worsened synchronization of activities as well as garbled speech. Incidentally, even a solitary painful injury of the brain may also result in a condition known as post-traumatic dementia (PTD). Post-traumatic dementia is similar to dementia pugilistica, however, it also comprises enduring memory or cerebral troubles. The other signs of this condition (PTD) depend on the precise region of the brain that was harmed by the injury.

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Frontotemporal dementia (FTD)

The cerebral disorder Frontotemporal dementia (FTD), occasionally also referred to as frontal lobe dementia, denotes a collection of ailment that are distinguished by deterioration of the nerve cells, particularly the nerve cells located in the frontal and temporal hemisphere of the brain. Dissimilar to Alzheimer's disease, FTD generally does not comprise build-up of amyloid plagues (muggy clusters or patches of protein found enclosed by the remains of dying nerve cells in the brain). Many patients suffering from Frontotemporal dementia have an anomalous variety of tau protein in the brain that builds up into neurofibrillary tangles. The formation of the neurofibrillary tangles interrupts the usual activities of the nerve cells and often results in their death.

According to medical professionals, Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) comprises around two to ten per cent of all incidents of dementia. Normally, the symptoms of FTD are first noticed when the patients is in the age group of 40 and 65 years. It has been found that many people suffering from the disease had a history of FTD in their family and this suggests that a potent genetic aspect may be responsible for the occurrence of the ailment. It has also been found that the period for which an individual endures FTD differs from one patient to another. While the condition of some patients deteriorates rapidly within a period of two to three years, in many others the symptoms show minimum change for numerous years. However, in general, people enduring FTD survive for a maximum period of five to 10 years after they have been diagnosed with the disease.

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The fact that the formations present in the frontal and temporal sections of the brain play a crucial role in regulating our thoughts and social behaviour, FTD patients usually face difficulty in keeping up with the usual social communication as well as pursuing the norms of the society. It is likely that the FTD patients may resort to theft or display ill-mannered and socially improper manners and may even ignore their regular duties. Patients suffering from Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) may also endure loss of verbal communication and language; show obsessive or monotonous actions; have an augmented craving for food as well as motor troubles like stiffness and inability to maintain the balance of their body. Many patients may also suffer loss of memory, but this symptom usually occurs at a later stage of the malady.

One form of Frontotemporal dementia is known as Pick's disease. In this case specific nerve cells turn anomalous and puff up before they expire. In fact, these swollen neurons are the characteristics of the Pick's disease. People enduring the Pick's disease also have anomalous formations in their brain that are known as Pick's bodies. To a great extent, the Pick's bodies are usually made up of the protein called tau inside the neurons or nerve cells. Although scientists are yet to find the reason that leads to the Pick's disease, they have discovered that the ailment runs in a number of families and say that to some extent, this is possibly owing to a flawed gene or a number of defective genes.

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Normally, an individual develops the Pick's disease after he or she turns 50 years old. This disease alters the personality as well as behaviour of the patients and these symptoms deteriorate with the passage of time. It may be noted here that many of the signs and symptoms of the Pick's disease resemble the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, such as improper social conduct, language problems, loss of mental suppleness, problems in concentration or lack of attentiveness and lack of judgment or thinking. Till date, there is no medication that is effective enough to inhibit the progress of the Pick's disease and stop or slow down the deterioration of the nerve cells. Nevertheless, some medications have found to be useful in lessening the onslaught of this disease as well as alleviating some symptoms like behavioural problems. In addition, there are medications that help to treat depression - a significant symptom of the Pick's disease.

Scientists have discovered that in a number of instances, the familial or hereditary Frontotemporal dementia is related to transformations in the tau gene. This malady, known as FTD along with Parkinson's disease is related to chromosome 17 (briefly denoted as FTDP-17). This condition is quite similar to the other forms of FTD, but frequently comprises psychiatric symptoms like delusions and hallucinations or figment of imagination.

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Yet another form of Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is known as primary progressive aphasia (PPA) and this disease may strike people at a relatively early age of 40 years. It may be mentioned here that the term 'aphasia' is commonly used to denote discrepancy in language functioning - including speech or speaking, comprehending what others are speaking as well as naming or identifying different familiar articles or things. Patients suffering from PPA may experience impairment of one or more of the above mentioned functions. The symptoms of this type of FTD start little by little and develop gradually for a considerably long period, which, at times, may be several years. As the primary progressive aphasia (PPA) advances, patients may experience loss of memory as well as lack of attentiveness. Some patients may also display personality and behaviour transformations at a later stage of the disease. It is important to note here that majority of the patients enduring PPA, but not every one of them, may ultimately develop the signs of dementia.

The initial cerebral symptoms of Huntington's disease generally include trivial changes in the personality of the patient - anxiety, irritability and depression, and later developing into an acute case of dementia. A number of people enduring Huntington's disease also display mentally deranged actions. Huntington's disease also results in chorea (uncontrolled jerky sporadic movements of the limbs, trunk, and facial muscles) as well as debility of the muscles, gaucheness and problems in walking.

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HIV-associated dementia (HAD)

The disorder called HIV-associated dementia (HAD) is caused due to contagion by human immunodeficiency virus that is responsible for AIDS. This is a critical condition whereby the white matter in the brain is extensively damaged by the disease. In due course, HAD results in a form of dementia whose symptoms usually comprise cerebral damage, lack of concern, withdrawal from the society as well as problems in concentration or absence or attentiveness. In addition, people suffering from this malady usually also have difficulties in movement. While there is no particular remedy for HAD yet, medications used to treat AIDS may help to holdup the initiation of the disease and also somewhat alleviate the symptoms.

Huntington's disease (HD)

Flawed gene for a protein known as huntingtin is said to be responsible for Huntington's disease (HD), which is said to be a heritable malady. It has been seen that as many as 50 per cent children of people suffering from Huntington's disease are likely to inherit the disorder. This malady results in the deterioration of several parts of the brain as well as the spinal cord. Generally, the signs of this disease first begin to appear when the patients are in their 30s or 40s. Once an individual has been diagnosed of suffering from Huntington's disease, he or she has a maximum remaining lifespan of 15 years.

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