▲ A 35-year-old English teacher suddenly forgot all his words and sought medical attention to reveal that he had a disease that caused symptoms of cognitive impairment. (iStock image)
Dementia is not exclusive to the elderly. A 35-year-old English teacher in the Mainland recently developed symptoms of cognitive impairment. She suddenly forgot all English words and even didn’t know who she was. After seeking medical attention, she was found to have autoimmune dementia.
According to domestic media “Modern Express”, the 35-year-old English teacher was taken to Yangzhou University Affiliated Hospital by his family earlier. Xu Xiaotian, deputy director of the Department of Neurology, said that the patient had symptoms of dementia at the time and “cannot remember a single English word.” “I don’t even know who I am.”
Xu Xiaotian said that the patient’s condition progressed rapidly, from a normal person to dementia within 3 days. He performed magnetic resonance imaging and other examinations on the patient, which showed abnormal high signals in the parieto-occipital and temporal lobes on the left side of the head. After testing related indicators in the cerebrospinal fluid, he was initially diagnosed as dementia caused by autoimmune encephalitis.
Xu Xiaotian explained that autoimmune encephalitis is mainly due to abnormalities in the autoimmune system, which produces specific antibodies that attack one’s own brain tissue. Patients often have cold-like symptoms before the onset of the disease, and subsequently develop symptoms such as cognitive impairment, abnormal mental behavior, decreased memory of recent events, epileptic seizures, and speech impairment.
The doctor immediately treated the patient with human blood immunoglobulin. Five days later, the patient’s dementia symptoms were relieved and his cognitive level returned to the normal level before the onset of the disease. Later, after further diagnosis and treatment, it was confirmed that the patient had autoimmune encephalitis due to Sjögren’s syndrome, which in turn led to symptoms of dementia.
Xu Xiaotian said that more than 10 million people worldwide suffer from cognitive impairment, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type. Dementia affects mostly elderly patients, but young people can also suffer from the disease. Dementia can be caused by a variety of factors, including neurodegenerative diseases, vascular dementia, brain injury, autoimmune diseases, and blood-borne infectious diseases. For example, memory loss after a stroke in young people and autoimmune encephalitis can also cause cognitive impairment.
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Editor in charge: Luo Jiaxin
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