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老年痴呆症簡介
2009-07-20

吳義銘醫生
香港老年痴呆症協會副主席(外務)

老年痴呆症簡介

老年痴呆症(簡稱「痴呆症」)是一種腦部退化的疾病,並非正常的衰老過程。病發早期主要影響患者的認知能力,患者會日益健忘,智力退化,性格亦會有所改變。患者大部份是65歲以上人士,年齡越高,病發機會越大。一般痴呆症病情發展較緩慢,由病發到末期大約十年。

老年痴呆症的種類繁多,成因各有不同,但主要分為三大類:

1. 阿氏痴呆症(Alzheimer’s Disease)是最普遍的類別,此退化性疾病的成因未明,現時並未有確治之法,而患者的衰退是漸進式的。

2. 血管性痴呆症(Vascular Dementia)是因連串的腦中風或血管疾病,引致積聚的腦部損壞。患者衰退大多是梯級式的。

3. 其他導致痴呆的成因包括情緒抑鬱、營養不足、甲狀腺分泌失調、缺乏維生素B12、腦外傷等。此外,痴呆症亦會是一些疾病的併發症,例如柏金遜和愛滋病等。

如果在家人及朋友身上發現下列十大警號中的其中數個,他們有可能是患上老年痴呆症,應儘快找醫生作初步診斷,並且經醫生轉介至其他專科如老人精神科、老人科或內科,再作深入診斷:

1. 失去短期記憶,影響工作能力
2. 執行熟悉的工作亦感到困難
3. 語言表達或理解有困難
4. 對時間及方位感到混亂
5. 判斷力減退
6. 思考/計算方面有困難
7. 隨處亂放東西
8. 情緒/行為變得變幻無常
9. 性格轉變
10. 失去做事的主動性

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