Just as with everything else in the human world, of course our environment can play a big role in whether or not Dementia is a part of our older lives. As our lives develop, certain things within our environments and through our lifestyle choices may ascertain whether or not we get Dementia.
As caregivers we realize this – especially the complexity of whether or not a person makes decisions that could potentially combine with genetic mutations (that caregivers have absolutely no clue about!) – the influence that response mechanisms and environment have on whether or not we develop Dementia in our old age.
NINDS listed the following environmental factors that could make or break the future of Dementia. As long as caregivers pass this information along to their clients they are fulfilling the mission to show that With Age Comes Respect.
- Anoxia and a related condition, hypoxia, are terms often used to describe a state in which there is a curtailed supply of oxygen to an organ’s tissues. Anoxia and hypoxia can lead to the loss of neurons and diffuse brain injury. Characteristics of the resulting dementia include confusion, personality changes, hallucinations, or memory loss. This type of dementia commonly occurs in people who survive cardiac arrest.
- Exposure to lead, mercury, other heavy metals, or poisonous substances can lead to symptoms of dementia. These symptoms may or may not resolve after treatment, depending on how severely the brain is damaged.
- Substance abuse. People who have abused substances such as alcohol and recreational drugs sometimes display signs of dementia even after the substance abuse has stopped. This condition is known as substance-induced persisting dementia.