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Dementia patients struggle to cope with change

demencia, dificultad, cambios

Dementia patients struggle to cope with change

London, Mar 16 (Prensa Latina) People with dementia struggle to adapt to changes in their environment because of damage to areas of the brain known as ¨multiple demand network¨, highly-evolved areas of the brain that support general intelligence, scientists explained in an article in the Journal of Neurosciences.
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The specialists said there are many different types of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia (FTD), which are characterised by the build-up of different toxic proteins in different parts of the brain. This means that the symptoms of dementia vary, and can include problems with memory, speech, behaviour or vision. But one symptom seen across every type of dementia is a difficulty in responding to unexpected situations.

They showed that damage to areas of the brain known as multiple demand networks was associated with reduced subsequent response.

Multiple demand networks, which are found both at the front and rear of the brain, are areas of the brain that do not have a specific task, but instead are involved in general intelligence — for example problems solving. They are highly evolved, found only in humans, primates and more intelligent animals. It is these networks that allow us to be flexible in our environment. Scientists say that an individual can look at a picture and immediately pick out the faces and immediately pick out the relevant information, whereas somebody with dementia will look at that scene a bit more randomly and will not immediately pick out what’s important. Experts advised taking a lot more time to signpost changes, flagging to them that you’re going to start talking about something different or you’re going to do something different. And then repeat yourself more when there’s a change, and understand why it’s important to be patient as the brain recognizes the new situation.


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