Dementia is a general term for loss of cognitive functioning (things like memory and reasoning) due to damage to brain cells or neurons. There are many different causes of dementia. Alzheimer's is a very common cause, in fact about the most common. Other causes of dementia are blood vessel disease in the brain of vascular dementia, another cause could be a traumatic brain injury, such as a very severe blow to the head like in a motor vehicle accident. Another cause would be many years of severe and extreme alcohol consumption. Yet another cause would be severe and prolonged vitamin B-12 deficiency.
Some causes of demenita like a B-12 defiency are reversible with treatment. Most dementia's however are not reversable. One form of dementia can co-exiost with another. For example a person can have Alzheimer's and vascular dementia.
Senile is a term not used so much anymore. For awhile it was used in the form of meaning geriatric or old age. We used to call Alzheimer's disease either senile onset, which meant after age 65, or pre-senile onset which meant before age 65. The disease has not changed much but our knowledge and understanidng grows slowly and steadily of the process. Pre-senile onset is now called Early Onset Alzheimer's disease.
Senile in adiditon to pertaining to old age also has another definition, it essentially means the same thing as dementia or loss of cognitive functioning, again it is a general term and not used so much anymore as perhaps it was 30 years ago.
So "senile dementia" can literally mean "dementia dementia" or it can more specifically mean dementia in person over age 65. The most important thing if at all possible is to have an understading of the cause and form (TYPE) of dementia, like Alzheimer's or vascular for example.
All dementia's have some similarities in their course and some slight to moderate differences and findings depending on the cause of the dementia.
As far as treatment and deterioration it truly depends on the cause and type of dementia, some rare causes of dementia like B-12 deficiency are treatable and reversible.
Multi-infarct dementia or vascular dementia it may important to control blood pressure and perhaps take a blood thinner or an aspirin a day however that is not automatic, sometimes if there has been a hemorrhagic event or bleeding in the brain your doctor might not want you on aspirin or blood thinner. It depends on the patient and their situaiton.
Current Alzhiemer's treatments can not stop or reverse the dementia, the best the current treatments can do is sometimes slow the process down. They usually work best when they are used earlier in the course of the disease.
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