Dementia affects everyone differently. This makes it difficult to predict how and when it may change over time. Dementia doesn’t follow an exact or certain set of steps that happen in the same way for every person with dementia. However, the symptoms of dementia will progress in a similar manner for some people. This evolution can be thought of in three “stages. 

These stages can be used to better understand how dementia will progress over time and to help people plan. The stages also serve as a reference for when therapies, such as Alzheimer’s disease medications, are most likely to be effective. 

As dementia progresses, a person will require greater assistance and, at some point, will require extensive assistance with daily functioning. However, because dementia is distinct for everyone, the timing and type of help required will vary. 

It might be difficult to determine when a person’s dementia has advanced from one stage to the next because: 

  • The stages may overlap – the person may require assistance with some areas of daily life while managing other tasks and activities on their own. 


  • Some symptoms, particularly those associated with actions, may occur at one point and then diminish or even disappear later. Other symptoms, including memory loss and language and reasoning difficulties, tend to persist and worsen over time. 


Research by the National Library of Medicine shows that the estimated dementia prevalence for adults ages 60+ in India is 7.4%. About 8.8 million Indians older than 60 years live with dementia. Dementia is more prevalent among females than males and in rural than urban areas. Significant cross-state variation exists in dementia prevalence. 

Why does dementia progress?

Dementia is not a single disease. It is caused by multiple physical brain illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, DLB, and FTD. 

Only a small portion of the brain is affected in the early stages of all types of dementia. A person has fewer symptoms at this stage because only the abilities that rely on the injured area of the brain are impacted. These early signs are generally insignificant. As a result, ‘mild’ dementia is used as an alternate word for the early stage. 

In the early stages, each type of dementia affects a different part of the brain. This explains why symptoms vary between types. Early-stage FTD is unusual. The symptoms of the various kinds of dementia tend to become more similar as dementia develops into the middle and later stages. This is because as dementia progresses, more of the brain is impacted. 

The condition that causes dementia spreads to other sections of the brain over time. This causes more symptoms because more of the brain is unable to function normally. Simultaneously, already-damaged parts of the brain become even more afflicted, worsening the individual’s symptoms. The disease eventually causes severe damage to most of the brain. This results in significant alterations in all elements of memory, thinking, language, emotions, and behavior, as well as physical issues. 

The disease eventually causes severe damage to most of the brain. This results in significant alterations in all elements of memory, thinking, language, emotions, and behavior, as well as physical issues. 

According to the research of Neurology India, the prevalence of dementia of rural population in South India and that in North India showed a widely varying rate from 3.39 to 0.84%, respectively. There are few urban studies from several regions of India showing similar varying rates: From 2.44 to 4.1% in West India, 1.83% in North India, 0.8-1.28% in East India and 3.6% in South India. The differences may be true considering the multiethnic, multicultural, and environmental differences. Utilizing a common protocol and undertaking multicentric study on dementia prevalence and incidence may overlook distinctive differences across regions. 

What factors influence the speed of dementia progression?

The rate at which dementia progresses varies greatly amongst people due to factors such as: 

The Type of Dementia

Alzheimer’s disease, for example, progresses more slowly than the other varieties of dementia. 

A Person’s Age

Alzheimer’s disease, for example, proceeds more slowly in older persons (over 65) than in younger people (under 65). 

Other Long-Term Medical Issues

Dementia tends to advance faster if the person also has other diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure, especially if these are poorly treated. 


Delirium is a medical disorder that develops suddenly.

It is impossible to predict how quickly a person’s dementia will progress. Some patients with dementia will require assistance very quickly after their diagnosis. Others, on the other hand, will be self-sufficient for several years.  

There is evidence that a person with dementia can do things to maintain their abilities for a longer period. For example, it can be beneficial to: 

  • Maintain a positive outlook. 


  • Accept support from other people – including friends, family, and professionals. 


  • Eat and sleep well. 


  • Do not smoke or drink too much alcohol. 


  • Take part in physical, mental, and social activities. 


This is carried out to keep new or current health problems from developing or worsening. This can hasten the progression of a person’s dementia. 

Can dementia progression be slowed down or reversed?

Dementia is caused by progressive brain deterioration, which causes a decline in cognition severe enough to impair a person’s capacity to function independently daily. Certain medications may help slow the progression of dementia and certain lifestyle choices made in adolescence and age may lower the likelihood of having it.  Please note that any medications that you come across should only be consumed after consulting a doctor. 

There is no such thing as reversible dementia. Although there is no single cure for dementia, there are numerous therapy options available to help people who are experiencing symptoms. If a person is suffering from dementia symptoms, they should consult a doctor. 

Fortunately, there are numerous things you may take to either prevent or delay memory loss. Techniques to reduce the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia to help you preserve your mental and physical health. 


Encouraging socialization is an easy method to protect the mental health of a family member experiencing the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Schedule small parties with friends or coworkers to keep your mind engaged. Introduce your dementia-affected family member or parent to new interests such as tennis, music, arts and crafts, interior decorating, or card games. 

Adopt a Mediterranean diet

Although additional research is needed to demonstrate a link between a healthy diet and dementia, evidence suggests that following a Mediterranean diet may help reduce the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Fruits, nuts, fish, vegetables, eggs, dairy, and poultry are all part of a Mediterranean diet.


The Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation’s data shows a beneficial association between cardio or exercise and a lower risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease. Participating in physical exercise once a week may help reduce the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by encouraging the formation of new brain connections. 

Read a book

As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, it will become more difficult for people to read. However, many people with Alzheimer’s have little trouble reading short and long books. Reading is a good approach to keep and develop your mental health since it preserves language. 

Perform puzzles

Always attempt to push yourself, especially your brain. There are numerous publications that include various crossword puzzles, Sudokus, and jigsaw puzzles to get your brain going. Even the newspaper has daily crossword puzzles. Try to push yourself and get your brain moving daily. 

Get enough sleep

According to new research, getting enough sleep each night may be connected to a decrease in amyloids in the brain. Getting close to seven or eight hours of sleep each night of the week may help reduce the spread of amyloid plaques and slow Alzheimer’s progression. Individuals with a moderate to severe form of Alzheimer’s disease experience symptoms caused by the buildup of amyloid plaques near nerve cells. 


Thus, approaches that slow down the progression of the disease include a combination of exercise and therapy, as well as making important lifestyle changes. 

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