WATCH: What you need to know about Dementia

Ratziel San Juan ( – October 13, 2020 – 2:22pm

MANILA, Philippines — In light of conflicting family accounts of whether Caridad Sanchez is diagnosed with dementia, here is what you need to know about the condition supposedly affecting the veteran actress.

Related: Caridad Sanchez’s kids refute each other on mom’s real condition

Dementia is not a specific disease, said the United States-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Rather, it is an umbrella term describing the “impaired ability to remember, think, or make decisions that interferes with doing everyday activities.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 50 million people worldwide have dementia, with nearly 3 in 5 cases living in low- and middle-income countries.

There are almost 10 million new cases of dementia yearly.

While symptoms of dementia can vary widely, the usual symptoms are problems with memory, attention, communication, reasoning, judgment, problem-solving and visual perception beyond age-related changes in vision.

The most common cause of dementia is Azheimer’s disease, accounting for at least 60% of cases.

Other major forms of dementia include vascular dementia, lewy body dementia, fronto-temporal dementia and mixed dementia.

The strongest known risk factor for dementia is age, with most cases affecting those 65 years and older but dementia itself is not a normal part of aging.

Studies show people can reduce the risk for dementia through a healthy diet, regular exercise, weight management, avoiding smoking and harmful alcohol use, and maintenance of healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

No treatment exists to cure dementia or alter its progressive course, but many treatments are being investigated in different stages of clinical trials.

Available dementia care aims to diagnose the condition early to promote timely and optimal management, provide carers with the proper information and long-term support and to detect and treat accompanying physical illness and behavioral and psychological symptoms. — Video by Efigenio Toledo IV, photos from Pixabay

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