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Dementia in the elderly can take on two different forms; reversible and chronic. When symptoms are reversible, the short-term dementia has been caused by other illnesses or diseases. The National Institute on Aging has classified 100 conditions that can cause short-term dementia. These are often called “pseudodementias”, and are treatable. Some examples include:
Adverse reactions to Medications- Side effects mimicking dementia are most commonly caused by antiarthritic medications, anihypertensizes, neuroleptics, hypnotics, and sedatives. Make sure your doctor is monitoring all your medications, including over-the-counter.
Emotional Distress- Seniors face a tremendous amount of changes in their lives, sometimes abrupt. Retirement, loss of a loved one or pet, divorce, change in location; all of these can cause depression, anxiety, and can damage physical and mental health. Make sure your physician is informed of these stressors in your life.
Metabolic Disturbances- Electrolyte imbalances, hypoglycemia, hypercalcemia, hepatic diseases, pancreatic disorders, renal failure, or liver failure can also cause confusion and effect sleep, appetite, and emotional balance.