Dementia

Dementia

Dementia is a term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with the decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to interfere with a person’s ability to perform daily activities.  Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60-80% of dementia cases.  Vascular dementia, occurs after a stroke.  It is the second most common dementia type.  There are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies. Dementia is often incorrectly referred to as “senility” or “senile dementia”, which reflects the formerly widespread, but incorrect belief that serious mental decline is a normal part of aging. The symptoms of dementia can vary.  The symptoms may start out slowly and gradually worsen.  At least two of the following core mental functions must be significantly impaired to be considered dementia:  memory, communication and language, ability to focus and pay attention, reasoning and judgment, visual perception.