Dementia is the general term for a group of brain disorders that cause memory problems and make it hard to think clearly.

Zen Cannabis Clinic A nurse assisting a patient with neurodegenerative disease, specifically medical marijuana for dementia at Zen Cannabis Clinic.

Dementia: What are the symptoms?

  • Forgetfulness or acting confused or disoriented
  • Trouble with speech and writing (for example, not being able to find the right words for things)
  • Trouble concentrating and reasoning
  • Problems with tasks such as paying bills or balancing a checkbook
  • Getting lost in familiar places
  • Episodes of anger or aggression
  • See things that aren’t there or believe things that aren’t true
  • Be unable to eat, bathe, dress, or do other everyday tasks
  • Lose bladder and bowel control

Dementia: What are the different types?

  • Alzheimer disease – Alzheimer disease is the most common cause of dementia. It is a disorder in which brain cells slowly die over time.
  • Vascular dementia – Vascular dementia happens when parts of the brain do not get enough blood. This can happen when blood vessels in the brain get blocked with blood clots or damaged by high blood pressure or aging. This form of dementia is most common among people who have had strokes or who are at risk for strokes.
  • Parkinson disease dementia – Parkinson disease is a brain disorder that affects movement. It causes trembling, stiffness, and slowness. As Parkinson disease gets worse, some people develop dementia. “Lewy body dementia” is a related form of dementia.
  • Other causes of dementia – Dementia can also happen if a person’s brain has been damaged. For example, having many head injuries can lead to dementia.

Dementia: How is it treated?

That depends on what kind of dementia you have. If you have Alzheimer disease, there are medicines that might help some. If you have vascular dementia, your doctor will focus on keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol as close to normal as possible. However, brain damage can be permanent. Sadly, there really aren’t good treatments for most types of dementia. But doctors can sometimes treat troubling symptoms that come with dementia, such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, and behavioral disturbances. Medical Marijuana can alleviate some of these troubling symptoms.