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Zimbabwe Top Clinical Psychologist Says Dementia Under-Diagnosed

Some inmates at Ekuphumuleni Old People's Home in Bulawayo.
Some inmates at Ekuphumuleni Old People's Home in Bulawayo.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Sekai Nhiwatiwa says family members should be on the lookout for common behavioral changes that affect senior citizens who suffer from different forms of dementia.

Dr. Nhiwatiwa told VOA Studio 7 that some of the symptoms of dementia are forgetfulness and confusion.

She said most of the senior citizens suffering from this disease are usually in rural areas as part of the Zimbabwean culture is to look for family members in their rural home areas.

"The biggest symptom is forgetfulness and confusion and most cases go undetected as most people do not take their relatives to be diagnosed early and put on treatment if their type of dementia is treatable," said Dr. Nhiwatiwa.

Dr. Nhiwatiwa said most of the causes of the different types of dementia were a result of uncontrolled high blood pressure, sugar diabetes and gene mutations.

"Although the causes of some of the dementias are unknown and the treatments different and some of the cases untreatable we do embark on palliative care to ensure that those suffering from the disease get the best care that can be afforded them," said Dr. Nhiwatiwa.

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