What is dementia?
Dementia describes a state of age-related cognitive decline, characterized by a group of related symptoms. Signs of dementia vary, including experiencing issues or changes with the following:
- Processing speed
- Language and speech
- Movement and daily activities
As an age-related condition, it's common in those over 65, with 1 in 14 people considered to have the condition. It is shown to be even more common in the over 80s, affecting 1 in 6 people in that age group. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia.
If any of the above symptoms cause suspicion of dementia, it's important to seek medical help as soon as possible. While there is no cure as of yet, dementia care aims to slow or pause the condition to help the patient maintain mental function. Adequate dementia care can allow the person to live an active and full life.
Causes of dementia
There are various forms of dementia, each with different proposed causes. Alzheimer's disease, for example, is believed to be caused by the presence of specific amino acids which build up around brain cells and 'tangle' them. Vascular dementia is often caused by reduced blood flow to the brain, which can be brought about as a result of stroke, or narrowing of the blood vessels. Lewy body dementia describes a variant involving the development of specific proteins in the brain which alter and disrupt the communication between brain cells. This condition is similar in symptoms to Parkinson's disease. One other possible cause for dementia is mitochondrial disease.
Mitochondrial disease describes dysfunction of the energy-producing unit of every cell in the body, the mitochondria. Necessary for the conversion of food into usable energy, cells with dysfunctioning mitochondria will struggle to obtain the energy needed for their basic processes. Mitochondrial disease can affect many parts of the human body (as every organ uses mitochondria), including the brain cells. Research has cited mitochondrial disease as another possible cause of cognitive decline and dementia.
Supplements for mitochondrial disease
The nutrient CoEnzyme Q10 (Q10) is one of the most promising nutritional therapies for mitochondrial disease.
The vitamin-like substance supports the mitochondria's ability to produce energy from food while at the same time, protecting the cell from oxidative stress – another possible cause of cognitive decline.
For more information on our CoEnzyme Q10 range please click here.