Brain & Spine Specialists

Neurologists & Neurosurgeons located in Panama City, FL

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, but it’s not the only type you can develop. When you’re worried about memory lapses or misplacing items, it’s important to get a thorough evaluation by the caring experts at Brain & Spine Specialists. With an early diagnosis, you can take steps to slow down progressive dementia and prolong healthy functioning. To schedule an appointment, use the online booking feature or call one of the two offices located in Panama City, Florida.

Dementia Q&A

What are the different types of dementia?

Dementia includes a group of diseases that affect your memory, concentration, and other cognitive abilities severely enough to interfere with daily functioning. The primary types of dementia include:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Frontotemporal disorders
  • Lewy body dementia
  • Vascular dementia

A few medical conditions, such as depression, hypothyroidism, and kidney disease, can cause dementia. This type of dementia improves when the underlying condition is treated, which is different from the progressive nature of primary dementias.

What symptoms develop due to dementia?

Memory loss doesn’t always mean you have dementia. However, memory loss is a key symptom of dementia. The symptoms associated with dementia are cognitive, psychological, and behavioral.

Cognitive dementia symptoms

  • Memory loss
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Uncoordinated motor function
  • Difficulty communicating
  • Difficulty solving problems
  • Inability to plan and organize especially complex tasks

Psychological and behavioral dementia symptoms

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Personality change
  • Inappropriate behavior
  • Anger and agitation
  • Paranoia
  • Delusions and hallucinations

The earliest sign of Alzheimer’s disease is often having a hard time remembering new information. At the start, dementia causes milder symptoms, then they progressively worsen. Symptoms like difficulty talking, aggression, and hallucinations occur in the later stages of dementia.

How is dementia treated?

When dementia is suspected, the team at Brain & Spine Specialists begin with a thorough physical and neurological examination. They may perform cognitive and neuropsychological tests to evaluate your memory, language, problem-solving ability, and attention.

You may also undergo an MRI scan of your brain, which is done on-site, or a positron emission tomography (PET) scan to view patterns of brain activity.

Ongoing treatment for dementia focuses on slowing down the disease and reducing symptoms. Several medications called cholinesterase inhibitors are FDA-approved for reducing symptoms associated with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. The same medications may also help other types of dementia.

Another group of medications, NMDA antagonists, help treat the symptoms of moderate to severe Alzheimer’s. These medications can help patients with Alzheimer’s perform activities of daily living longer than they can without medication.

If your doctor diagnoses vascular dementia, your treatment includes steps to keep your blood vessels healthy, such as lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol.

If you’re concerned about memory loss or other symptoms, call or schedule an appointment online for a neurological evaluation at Brain & Spine Specialists.