I’ve been doing volunteering for the past year at a care home for the elderly with dementia and yet, I don’t have too much knowledge about the mental disease. I felt that researching into dementia would allow me to empathise more as well as being able to adapt my other interpersonal skills in an appropriate manner when communicating with the residents.
So what is dementia?
You’ve probably heard of Alzheimers, which is a type of dementia. Dementia is the umbrella term which includes a vast array of mental disease. The word dementia a describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. These changes are often small to start with, but for someone with dementia they have become severe enough to affect daily life. A person with dementia may also experience changes in their mood or behaviour.
According to the Alzheimers society, there are around 800,000 people with dementia and unfortunately there isn’t any cure. A lot of people have argued that there isn’t enough funding which goes into looking for a cure for dementia however current research includes;
Gene Therapy- This aims to stop brain cells from dying or even replace them
A dementia vaccine- This would inject abnormal amounts of proteins, activating an immune response which would lead to the immune system sensitising to that protein
Stem Cells- They could be used to replace the brain cells, they could also be manipulated so they mimic some of the body’s processes that may cause the development of dementia. Doing this will help scientists to better understand dementia. It also allows researchers to predict the effects of potential dementia drugs more accurately.
I feel sometimes mental diseases are taken a lot less seriously compared to things like cancer, however they are just as dangerous.