There is a huge ongoing debate on the question is dementia neurological or psychological. Some experts claim that it is both neurological and psychological.
Others state that the disease is psychological while others vehemently say that dementia is neurological.
According to the American Psychological Association, researchers are learning new details of the underlying processes that cause various types of dementia thanks to advancements in neuroimaging; hence, it may be clear in the future whether dementia is psychological or neurological.
WHO (World Health Organization) also proposed that dementia diagnoses should now be classified as “disease of the nervous system instead of a behavioral or mental disorder.
These changes might imply that some health care experts will be exempt from offering dementia diagnostic assessment as well as an intervention that may lead to reduced access and quality care for persons who have dementia.
Is Dementia a Neurological Disorder?
Experts who state that dementia is a neurological illness when answering the query is dementia neurological or psychological say so because they believe that the illness involves damage or malfunction to the nervous systems which is made up of the nerves, spinal cord, and brain.
ARC (Advance Rehab Centre) explains that dementia is a progressive neurological condition.
For this reason, it is advisable for persons who think they have dementia to visit a neurologist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders that affect the brain, nerves, and spinal cord.
They carry out neurological exams in a bid to look at reflexes, sensory function, balance, and other functions.
Dementia neurological signs
The professionals are also helpful when it comes to detecting some of the dementia signs like:
- Memory issues
- Reduced concentration
- Problems completing familiar day to day tasks
- Personality changes
- Increased disorientation
- Communication problems
- Poor decision-making amongst others
Is Dementia a Psychological Disease?
Professionals who claim that dementia is psychological also make a strong argument.
Dementia psychological symptoms
The disease presents various psychological and behavioral symptoms that include:
- Mood disturbances like depression
- Repetitive behavior
- Social inappropriateness
- Sleep disturbance
- Physical aggression
- Psychosis which may include hallucinations and delusions
Psychologists play a major role when it comes to dementia.
They can help assess dementia in persons who are suspected to have the illness.
They can also offer counseling and education for the persons with the illness as well as their loved ones on how to best cope with the neurodegenerative illness.
Psychologists can offer their professional services to persons with dementia in multiple settings including hospitals, clinics, homes, and residential care facilities.
It is, however, important to note that dementia is not necessarily a mental illness because it is a persistent or chronic disorder of the mental process that is a result of brain injury or disease.
This said dementia is known to affect the mental health of a person who has the illness.
At this point, it is not easy to answer the question is dementia neurological or psychological.
This is mostly because the disease has some neurological aspects as well as psychological dimensions.
More research needs to be done to ascertain the category of the disease in regards to whether it is psychological or neurological.