Can dementia be reversed ?

There are several causes of dementia and thankfully several of them can be reversed. You have to remember that when we talk about “dementia” we talk about a set of symptoms including but not restricted to a decline of mental abilities (memory, language, problem solving etc). “Reversible dementias“(RD) are conditions that may well be associated with cognitive or behavioral symptoms that can be resolved once the primary etiology is treated.

Reversible dementias are more common among individuals younger than 60 years age, their prevalence is lesser in those aged 65 years and above. The prevalence of RD has been reported 18% in patients under the age of 65 years but only 5% in those over 65 years.

Here is a list of the reversible causes of dementia. Reversible dementia can be completely cured if it is caught early. These causes of dementia are usually ruled out first before a diagnosis is reached.

The causes of reversible dementia include

  • Depression
  • Sensory (Hearing and vision issues)
  • Infections(Syphilis, meningitis)
  • Medications and substance abuse (Anticholinergics, antihypertensives)
  • Neurological problems such as tumors/ Normal pressure hydrocephalus.
  • Metabolic problems
  • Thyroid abnormalities
  • Sleep apnea
  • Vitamin deficiencies (B12, Folate, B3,B1 Deficiency)

The above conditions can be diagnosed with simple blood investigations and brain scans. If identified and treated promptly, some people make a complete recovery.

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