Thursday, August 02, 2018 by Rhonda Johansson
Semantic dementia, which is also referred to as semantic variant primary progressive aphasia, is a sub-type of frontotemporal dementia, a progressive disorder of the brain. The condition describes the gradual worsening of both expressive and receptive language function. This is typically characterized as the loss of understanding of what things are or their meaning.
Semantic dementia is different from Alzheimer’s disease, in that episodic memory is usually unimpaired, meaning that patients are normally able to remember life events, although they are unable to properly express them.
Diagnosing the condition involves a multi-faceted approach as neurologists still do not fully understand dementia and how it occurs. That said, three diagnostic criteria have been proposed:
Symptoms of semantic dementia include:
As the disease progresses, patients may no longer recognize objects and faces. They may also lose the ability to remember day-to-day events.
In some cases, patients with semantic dementia may display behavioral problems such as becoming more obsessive or repetitive in their movements. It has also been noted that some patients with semantic dementia develop an excessive craving for sweet foods.
This condition affects the front and sides of the brain, which is why it falls under the umbrella of frontotemporal dementia.
Disturbingly, unlike other forms of dementia, semantic dementia tends to affect younger people (around 45 to 65 years old). It also tends to develop slowly and gradually worsen over several years.
There is no cure for semantic dementia and most healers suggest management plans instead. These typically include a dramatic change in lifestyle in terms of diet and exercise.
Patients are encouraged to lessen their intake of processed food and eat more fruits and vegetables. Daily exercise is also suggested.
Some botanical reviews suggest that ginkgo supplements may help slow down the progression of dementia.
Semantic dementia is the gradual worsening of both expressive and receptive language function.
People with semantic dementia have difficulties remembering words.
Unlike other forms of dementia, the condition can affect relatively younger people (those aged 45 to 65 years old).
There is no cure for semantic dementia.
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