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Diagnosing Dementia

The process of diagnosing dementia is complicated. We all have beta-amyloid plaques and tangles in our brains that increase with age. This is NOT necessarily a sign that someone will have neuro-cognitive disorder (dementia). Behavioural or mood changes plus these brain signs do not necessarily equate to dementia. There are many conditions that present with so-called symptoms often wrongly attributed to dementia: chronic depression, delirium, dehydration, malnutrition, iatrogenic disorders etc.

Dementia is a diagnosis by exclusion of these and other conditions that might mimic what is often confused with dementia (pun intended). Subjective cognitive impairment – where we constantly tell ourselves that our brains deteriorate or that we have “mini Alzheimer’s” or senior moments, is a dangerous form of self-conditioning – 93% of people doing this will end up with dementia. The mind is powerful and must be managed…

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