Dementia

Priti M Manohar, MD -  - Adult Neurology

Neuro Rehab & Pain Institute

Priti M Manohar, MD

Adult Neurology & Pediatric Neurology located in Edinburg, TX

Whether you're concerned about changes in your own memory or you have a family member who is increasingly forgetful, can't concentrate, or constantly loses things, it's important to seek early help from Priti Manohar, MD, at Neuro Rehab & Pain Institute. As a specialist in neurology, Dr. Manohar offers comprehensive diagnostic testing and compassionate care for Dementia that helps improve your symptoms and maintain the best possible quality of life. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Edinburg, Texas, or use the online booking feature today.

Dementia Q&A

Does memory loss mean I have dementia?

Dementia causes memory loss, but memory loss alone doesn't mean you have dementia. Everyone experiences some memory loss as a normal part of aging. By comparison, people with dementia have problems with at least two types of brain function, such as memory loss and difficulty using language.

What is dementia?

Dementia refers to a large group of conditions that cause progressive memory loss, a decline in language ability, and a regression in thinking capacity.

Some types of dementia are reversible. For example, dementia caused by an underlying medical condition typically improves after you get treatment for that condition.

However, progressive dementias develop as brain neurons (nerve cells) die. The ongoing destruction of brain cells leads to significant behavioral, emotional, and personality changes.

Eventually, declining brain function affects social abilities and makes it hard or impossible to perform routine daily activities like paying bills, getting dressed, and eating.

Can I develop different types of progressive dementia?

The four primary types of progressive dementia include:

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Lewy body dementia
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Vascular dementia

Of these, Alzheimer's accounts for 60-80% of all cases of dementia. Alzheimer's disease develops as beta-amyloid proteins accumulate outside neurons and tau proteins build up inside the nerve cells. As the proteins increasingly destroy more neurons, the affected areas of the brain shrink.

What symptoms develop due to dementia? 

The most common symptoms of dementia include:

  • Memory loss and confusion
  • Difficulty speaking, communicating, and writing
  • Problems with concentration, planning, and organizing
  • Getting lost in familiar places
  • Trouble solving problems
  • Personality, mood, and behavioral changes
  • Inability to complete daily tasks
  • Balance and movement problems
  • Gait changes (walking slows down)

Memory loss is usually the earliest sign of Alzheimer's disease. You may forget information you recently learned and repeat the same questions. Additional symptoms appear as dementia progresses.

Does dementia cause seizures?

People with dementia have a higher risk of epileptic seizures. About 10-22% of those with Alzheimer's disease have at least one seizure, usually in the later stages. As a specialist in seizures, Dr. Manohar has extensive experience treating seizures in patients with dementia.

How is dementia diagnosed?

Diagnosing dementia begins by identifying or ruling out health conditions that might cause your symptoms. If you have seizures, Dr. Manohar performs an electroencephalogram (EEG).

To diagnose dementia, Dr. Manohar may do a quick memory screen before completing a thorough cognitive and neurological evaluation.

She uses different neuropsychological tests and techniques to assess:

  • Memory and learning
  • Language usage and understanding
  • Reading and reading comprehension
  • Attention and concentration
  • Intellectual quotient (IQ)
  • Brain processing speed
  • Motor (muscle) speed and dexterity
  • Mood and personality
  • Visuospatial skills
  • Executive function

Executive function refers to high-level skills that allow you to solve problems, organize and plan, make judgments, and maintain self-control.

How is dementia treated?

Dr. Manohar recommends a personalized treatment plan based on the type and stage of dementia. She may prescribe one of several medications that help to improve memory, attention, and language.

Some Alzheimer's medicines slow down the destruction of nerve cells in the early and middle stages of the disease. Dr. Manohar may also refer you to a behavioral specialist or recommend techniques for managing common challenges such as anger, anxiety, delusions, sleep issues, and wandering.

If you or a loved one need help with dementia, call Neuro Rehab & Pain Institute, or book an appointment online today.