Common diseases & risk factors

Avi Medical helps you with dementia

Dementia is an incurable, degenerative memory disorder that affects more than one million people in Germany and takes many different forms. Its most common representative is Alzheimer's dementia.

However, although the disease is irreversible, comprehensive therapy can slow down its course and alleviate its symptoms. Our experienced doctors will accompany you in this process at all our locations .

What is dementia?

Dementia is not a diagnosis, but a symptom complex that occurs in various forms. What they all have in common is the objectively measurable, slowly progressive loss of already learned abilities. This means: the disturbance of the cognitive apparatus (the memory) without simultaneous clouding of consciousness (such as delirium or drowsiness). Its origin can lie in a wide variety of underlying diseases.

At what point is it dementia?

For a reliable diagnosis of the symptom complex of dementia, potentially affected persons must:

  • existing symptoms persist for at least six months
  • Disorders of higher cognitive abilities can be detected by laboratory techniques  
  • disorders of consciousness (e.g. delirium) must be excluded 
  • the sensory organs function as normally as possible 

What are the triggers of dementia?

The clinical picture of dementia is basically divided into two groups : The primary and secondary dementia syndromes. 

Primary dementia is caused by a slowly progressive decrease in brain mass . The best-known manifestations include: 

  • Alzheimer's dementia (protein deposits in the brain)
  • Frontotemporal dementia (decrease especially in the area of the frontal and temporal lobe)
  • Dementia in Parkinson's disease
  • Lewy body dementia (deposits of so-called Lewy bodies)
  • Vascular dementia (caused by changes in the brain's blood vessels, usually due to high blood pressure)

Secondary dementia syndrome, on the other hand, is triggered by brain damage. Caused for example by: 

  • Oxygen deficiency
  • Trauma like bleeding
  • Liver damage
  • Poisoning of any kind (alcohol, medication)
  • Mineral disorders (e.g. too much or too little sodium in the blood)
  • Chronic vitamin deficiency (B vitamins)
  • Inflammations (e.g. HIV, syphilis, Lyme disease)

What are possible symptoms of dementia?

Typical accompanying symptoms of the dementia symptom complex include:

  • Deterioration of memory and associated limitations in daily life. This includes, for example, problems with finding one's way or operating devices.  
  • Disturbances in concentration and orientation (in time, place and later in one's own person). Affected persons forget, for example, where they are and, as the disease progresses, personal characteristics such as their own name or birthday.

Treatment of dementia at Avi Medical

The first step in the comprehensive treatment of dementia is diagnosis. For us at Avi Medical, this includes:

  • The exclusion of a temporary memory problem (by taking a medical history and physical examinations).
  • Neurological examinations including memory test 
  • Blood test for vitamin deficiencies or inflammation 
  • If necessary, cerebrospinal fluid examination (cerebrospinal fluid puncture)
  • CT of the head (by a specialist)

This is followed by the targeted therapy of dementia, which is intended to slow down its progressive course and alleviate the symptoms. This includes:

  • special training courses. Here, those affected and their relatives receive help and tips on how to preserve memory as well as guidelines on how to behave in disease-influenced everyday situations.
  • Non-medicinal therapies (occupational therapy, exercise therapy)
  • Medication options against cognitive decline (antidementia drugs) and accompanying symptoms (such as antidepressants against depression)